South Orange Dentist Shares Helpful Oral Care Tips
Having braces is a great step toward having a healthier, more attractive smile. Unlike other dental treatments, braces are often worn for months or years at a time. Unfortunately, braces inherently make it more difficult to take care of your teeth. The last thing you want is to have your braces removed only to discover that you have cavities in your brand new smile. In order to keep your teeth in good shape while wearing braces, follow these steps.
Brush, Brush, and Brush Some More
It goes without saying that you should be brushing your teeth twice a day. But, unfortunately, braces are natural food traps. When food stays trapped on the teeth for prolonged periods, more plaque forms and the cavity-forming process speeds up. During the time you have braces, brushing after every meal is ideal. Pay special attention to the wires and areas around the brackets, visually inspecting each area to make sure all food is removed. It can be helpful to vigorously rinse with water prior to brushing, as this can help dislodge some of the food particles.
Floss Every Day
When you have braces, flossing is absolutely critical. Even if you brush very well and keep your braces clean, it is still imperative to clean between your teeth. Obviously this is a difficult task when you have wires blocking access to the space between teeth. Luckily there are specialized flossers designed for threading the floss underneath wires so that you can access the interdental area. Flossing in this way can also help remove some of the smaller food particles trapped on the wires and brackets. The best practice is to floss just before bed, as this removes a day’s worth of food and plaque buildup.
Invest in an Electric Toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes are very beneficial whether you have braces or not. But when you have built in food traps on your teeth, they are all the more helpful. These types of brushes can do a much more effective job at keeping your teeth and brackets clean.
Use a Fluoride Mouthwash
Fluoride is responsible for keeping teeth strong. When you have braces, teeth are much more prone to “demineralization,” a process in which enamel breaks down. By using a fluoride rinse every day, you can help stop and reverse this process. Remember not to rinse with water after using the mouthwash, as this removes the fluoride ions from your mouth.
Keep Seeing Your South Orange Dentist For Regular Cleanings and Exams
Just because you have braces does not mean you shouldn’t have your teeth cleaned and examined every 6 months by your general dentist. It is actually much more important to do so when you have braces, for many of the reasons already listed. Your dentist can help alert you to any potential problems and how to rectify them.
By adhering to a strict oral hygiene regimen, you can be sure that your teeth will not only be straighter with braces, but also clean and healthy.