Whenever you have braces, you often hear that you need to take better care of your oral hygiene. Why is that? The short answer to this question is that braces provide more nooks and crannies for food and germs to hide under. As a result, your teeth can get yellow around your braces, and you can develop hard-to-reach cavities or gingivitis.
Why More Oral Care Is Needed During Orthodontic Treatment
If you have braces, you know that there are many brackets and wires in your mouth. These brackets and wires provide many nooks and crannies that food, plaque, and germs can hide out in. As a result, your teeth have a higher risk of tooth decay and gum problems.
In order to prevent tooth decay and gum problems, you need to take special care of your teeth while wearing braces. This includes eating tooth-friendly foods and practicing good oral hygiene habits.
In other words, you need to take more care of your oral health when you have braces. If you don’t, you can easily get permanent tooth damage, enamel damage, gingivitis, or other negative long-term effects.
Eat Tooth-Friendly Foods
One of the best ways to take care of your teeth while having braces is to have a tooth-friendly diet. Tooth-friendly foods include healthy fruits and vegetables that have low acid and sugar. It is best to avoid sugary and starchy foods such as fruit juices, energy drinks, and candy.
Whenever you eat, make sure to drink a lot of water and brush your teeth after. Doing so will wash away any leftover food and acids, which will help to prevent things like cavities, enamel damage, and gingivitis.
Practice Good Habits for Your Braces
In addition to eating tooth-friendly foods, you also need to practice good oral hygiene habits. These habits will help to keep both your braces and teeth clean and safe from leftover food and damage.
Firstly, make sure to avoid hard foods that can damage braces. You do not want to bite into sticky or hard food that breaks your braces and damages your teeth. Foods like nuts, caramels, and chewing gum should be avoided.
Additionally, stop habits such as nail-biting or pencil chewing. These habits can also damage your braces, which can then damage your teeth.
Thirdly, take special care of your teeth at home. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day using toothpaste with fluoride and a soft toothbrush. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle in small circular motions. You should aim to spend around 10 seconds on each tooth.
Make sure to spend special attention to the area surrounding your braces. You do not want your teeth to stain around the brackets because the stain will remain once the brackets are removed. So, position the toothbrush so that the areas directly around the brackets are cleaned.
To find out more about oral hygiene with your braces, contact Burke + Beckstrom Orthodontics for a free consultation.