5 Steps to Prevent Tooth Decay While Wearing Braces
Many people today have braces for a number of reasons like improving their physical appearance, to have a healthier looking smile, correct unaligned teeth or bite and to improve oral hygiene. Getting braces not only is beneficial to your health and appearance but it also presents a list of new challenges and routines.
One of these challenges is preventing tooth decay. Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is the damage that occurs when the germs and bacteria in the mouth make acids that eat away at the tooth, resulting in a hole. Tooth decay presents more of a challenge for people with braces because of the extra places such as wires and brackets that food can get caught in. Preventing it doesn’t have to be a challenge with the right knowledge. Here are 5 easy steps from the staff at Reese Family Dentistry that can help you prevent tooth decay while wearing braces.
1. Special Tooth Brushes
Wearing braces creates a lot of places and crevices in your mouth and around your teeth that tiny food particles can get stuck and wedged in. By using a special toothbrush made to reach those hard to reach places, you can be confident that you are cleaning your teeth effectively. Special orthodontic toothbrushes can have special angled heads to get into awkward places in the mouth, rotating bristles to get clean deep and remove stuck on plaque, and different levels of softness for those with teeth sensitivity. If you are having a difficult time finding a special tooth brush that suits your needs ask your orthodontic office for advice.
2. Brushing After Every Meal
Brushing your teeth and gums after every meal is an important and effective way to prevent tooth decay while wearing braces. By brushing after every meal you are brushing away all the bacteria that could potentially lead to plaque and tooth decay. It is extremely beneficial to remove all food particles rather than letting the food sit on teeth between meals.
3. Using Mouth Wash
It is best to use mouthwash before and after you brush your teeth. Using mouthwash before you brush your teeth helps loosen particles in your mouth making brushing and flossing more effective. Meanwhile, using mouthwash after brushing your teeth aids in rinsing out any lingering particles of food that cause plaque buildup.
Also, you can use mouthwash that contains fluoride; fluoride in mouthwash can prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Not all mouthwash contains fluoride so make sure you are checking the label so you get the full benefit out of your mouthwash.
4. Avoid Sweets
Avoiding sweets while wearing braces is a good way to prevent tooth decay. Although sugar is not the leading cause of tooth decay, most sweets can easily get lodged in between teeth and under wires and brackets. These stuck sugars then sit on teeth for long periods of time breaking down teeth and weakening enamel.
5. Regular Checkups
A good way to prevent tooth decay while wearing braces is to make regular appointments with your orthodontics office. When you go in for check-ups you will be able to get a thorough cleaning of your teeth, the doctors and staff can do any needed repairs or adjustments, and they can answer any questions or concerns you might have.
By following these 5 easy steps for preventing tooth decay, you can be cavity free through your orthodontic treatment and well on your way to a healthy and beautiful smile.