How to Prevent Tooth Decay While You Have Braces
Getting a straight smile that you are proud to show off is very possible thanks to the orthodontic treatment options available to you. Getting braces is still the best way to straighten your teeth while setting yourself up for great oral health for your future. Even though the end results will be well worth it, the process of getting your ideal smile comes with some complications, including an increased risk of tooth decay. Because of this, it’s especially important to take great care of your teeth while you have braces.
Brush and Floss Daily
Hopefully you’re already brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, but you’ll want to be extra proficient with these oral hygiene practices while you have braces. While your normal brushing routine might be twice a day, it’s best to brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush after every meal while you have braces. To best clean the surface of the brackets and your teeth, it might be helpful to use a special toothbrush with an indent in the center, allowing the outer bristles to reach your teeth.
Flossing can be particularly difficult with braces since the wires block your typical route for getting floss in between your teeth. Using a floss threader will make it easier to maneuver the floss under the archwire so you can effectively floss your teeth.
Avoid Pastries and Starchy Bread
When you get braces, you’ll also get a list of food restrictions since hard, sticky, or crunchy foods can damage your braces. While some foods, like white bread, brownies, or muffins, may not put you at risk of damaging your braces, these starchy foods can easily get stuck around your brackets and against your teeth. This type of food reacts similarly to sugar with your teeth, causing decay relatively quickly. If you eat these types of food, be sure to brush thoroughly after.
Use Supplemental Cleaning Methods
Even if you stay on top of a regular cleaning routine with brushing and flossing, it can be easy for food particles or residue to remain stuck to your teeth. Adding supplemental cleaning methods on top of your regular flossing and brushing routine can give you extra confidence that you will be covered.
One great way to ensure your teeth are thoroughly clean is by rinsing with mouthwash on a regular basis. By doing this once per day, you can clean out areas you missed while brushing or flossing while killing bacteria in your mouth.
Using a water flosser is another great way to make sure your teeth are thoroughly clean. This device uses pressurized water that shoots out of a small nozzle, cleaning out any plaque or food residue you may have missed while flossing your teeth. Similar devices combine the pressurized water stream with air to achieve a similar effect. While these tools are referred to as “water flossers” or “air flossers,” it’s important not to replace your regular flossing routine with one of these devices.
It’s also important to schedule regular checkups with your dentist so you don’t miss any problems that could become worse.
Contact Charleston Orthodontic Specialists today to schedule your free consultation and to learn more about oral hygiene best practices with braces.
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