At Future of Dentistry, we know it can be hard to keep your teeth clean if you wear braces. There are numerous places bits of food can hide and it can be hard to get toothbrush bristles in all those nooks and crannies. It’s especially challenging when the patient is young, as it can be hard to convince them to get into the habit.
Food Turns Into Bacteria
The brackets and wires on braces create places where harmful bacteria can thrive. If brace wearers don’t practice consistent, proper oral hygiene, their teeth can become permanently damaged.
The Cycle of Decay In 5 Stages
- The particles of food collect in the tiny spaces in and around the brackets and wires
- The bacteria in the food particles multiply
- The bacteria creates plaque
- The plaque erodes the enamel
- The plaque destroys enamel and the dentin below, forming a cavity
The Detriments of Bacteria
Bacteria on the surface of the teeth, especially that which is trapped between the enamel and the metal parts of braces, can cause conditions like halitosis, gum disease, bone recession, and even tooth loss.
How to brush with braces
Aside from remaining vigilant of their dietary choices – something everyone should no, braces or not – there are several steps patients with braces can take to maintain their oral health. Here are the steps to effective brushing while wearing braces:
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Remove elastics before brushing
- Place your brush at a 45 degree angle against the gums
- Gently brush with a circular motion along the gum-line where the gums and teeth meet
- Brush at least 10 seconds on each tooth
- Gently brush the brackets
- Press the brush firmly so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth
- Brush in and around all of the brackets and make certain to get under the wires – a battery-powered brush may be helpful.
- For the chewing surfaces, use a firm back and forth motion
- Spit out excess toothpaste
- Closely inspect your teeth and braces in the mirror to check that they are clean and shiny
- Replace the elastics
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash for 1 minute to help prohibit cavities and white spots
- Use other oral care products as prescribed by your dental professional
If you are new to the area and looking for an experienced pediatric dentist, visit Future of Dentistry! We’ll help you keep your smile in tip-top shape. Patients from throughout Greater Boston and Merrimack Valley come to us for general and restorative dentistry. Contact us today!
Contact Future of Dentistry:
Locations (Tap Below To Open Your Office In Google Maps):
Future of Dentistry – North Andover/Willows Dental Group
795 Turnpike St
North Andover, MA 01845