Braces are instrumental when it comes to straightening teeth and they have helped a lot of people to achieve straight smiles in the world. For the braces to accomplish their task effectively though, you need to maintain them and keep them clean and observe a good oral hygiene. A lot people find it hard to maintain good oral hygiene when they have braces because they get into the way of brushing and flossing. This however should not be the case and you should strive hard to keep the accessories clean keep your teeth healthy to prevent diseases and other complications from developing.
In case you were wondering how to maintain good oral hygiene with braces, we have provided 7 professional tips as presented to us by Dr. Jisoo Shin, DDS who is a senior dentist here at Vita Dental.
Here are the 7 tips on how to have great oral hygiene with braces
- Brushing should be done regularly, preferably after breakfast and before going to bed for at least two minutes per session. Use fluoride toothpaste and replace the toothbrush regularly as the bristles get worn out easily by the braces. A toothbrush with small head and soft bristle is recommended because it will not damage surrounding tissues. This way you maintain oral hygiene by preventing build-up of plaque on your teeth, tongue, gums and on the braces.
- Use an interdental brush to clean underneath and around the dental braces, where a regular toothbrush cannot reach. The normal toothbrush only cleans up to 50% of the teeth surface, leaving areas between teeth and below the gums unattended. These are the regions where most cavities occur. It is necessary to remove food debris underlying the braces before the normal brushing. If the debris is allowed to accumulate, it ends up forming diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis and dental decay.
- Flossing should be your friend as it helps clean teeth surfaces which a normal toothbrush cannot reach. In order to make the cleaning less challenging, use a flossing threader to clean under the brace wires. Failure to remove the plaque causes gums to swell and appear reddish and bleed. When the plaque stays for long without being removed, it forms a calculus which has to be removed by a professional dentist and if untreated may result in complete tooth loss.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash or an antiseptic mouth rinse after brushing to keep your breath fresh, prevent plaque formation and soothe irritation from the braces. This way you prevent tooth loss and gum disease.
- Foods rich in vitamins and those containing fluorine contribute to healthy gum tissues and naturally protect the cavities. You should consume much of these foods because they are beneficial when it comes to maintaining oral hygiene. Water should be taken regularly as it contains fluorine which makes the teeth surface resistant to degradation by acids. Food rich in calcium and phosphate such as milk and cheese should also be your companion when it comes to oral care as they help in remineralization of teeth. Foods rich in fibre help to increase saliva flow and help in removing food particles trapped in teeth pits. Occasionally, it is advisable to chew sugar-free dental chewing gums because they irrigate areas around and beneath teeth and also stimulate saliva production. Saliva neutralizes food particles in between teeth and buffers pH in the mouth, maintaining it at a level favourable for teeth (pH of 7).
- Avoid a high sugar diet because it is eventually converted to acids which breakdown the tooth surface leading to tooth decay. Fruits with high acidic content should also be avoided at all costs. If you must consume such diet, you may consider using dental sealants to cover the fissures in the chewing surfaces protecting them from trapping food particles. Sticky food should also be avoided because remnants are retained in the teeth for long and end up lowering pH in the mouth. Avoid alcohol because it causes mouth dryness, resulting in little saliva production rendering the mouth to bacterial infections. You should also avoid dark coloured alcoholic drinks because they stain teeth and the braces. Keep away from tobacco smoking as it weakens the gums rendering them weak and unable to hold teeth properly. Tobacco smoking also reduces the body’s immune system and ability to fight diseases.
- Regular visits to the dentist are important to have your braces checked to ensure that they are still in place. This will help shorten the duration over which you will have the braces on. Insist on oral hygiene accessories consisting of a toothbrush, floss, inter dental brush and a mirror to help you maintain your teeth and braces in good health.
If you are in Houston and are looking for the best braces and other orthodontic treatment options, look no further than Katy Vita Dental care. We have a wide range of dental braces and offer them at very competitive rates. If you are looking for more information on maintaining good oral hygiene with braces, feel free to contact us today as our dentists will gladly offer professional advice.