Preventing Tooth Decay While Wearing Braces

Many individuals wear wire or plastic braces to improve the appearance of their teeth. An orthodontist custom designs braces for each patient to reduce unsightly gaps or reposition crooked teeth. Braces are vitally important for improving an individual’s bite to make consuming healthy foods easier. While wearing braces, patients must continue to provide daily oral health care to prevent tooth decay.

Caring for teeth and gums correctly while wearing braces is necessary, because food debris collects under dental appliances, leading to plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky bacteria filled substance that develops on teeth that are not brushed and flossed frequently.

At Grace and Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville, we help patients of all ages get the smile they want with braces orthodontic treatments. While braces can help correct a number of different tooth discrepancies, it’s important to properly care for the teeth and braces throughout treatment. This will ensure you get the best results when the braces are removed. To schedule your appointment, contact Grace and Bowman Orthodontics today.

Brush Teeth Correctly

Patients wearing metal braces must use a toothbrush that effectively removes food particles located near the brackets. An orthodontic facility’s dental hygienist teaches patients wearing braces how to brush their teeth properly to dislodge debris without damaging the delicate metal wires. Learning how to brush teeth correctly is the best way to prevent decay from occurring underneath the brackets and wires of metal braces. Patients wearing removable aligners are also responsible for regular oral health care at least twice a day by washing the plastic dental appliances after flossing and brushing.

Use Fluorinated Toothpaste

It is essential to use the appropriate products and techniques while wearing braces to dislodge debris without degrading metal or plastic materials. Individuals wearing metal braces must remove the rubber band attachments before brushing to avoid breakage.

A toothbrush with a smaller head can reach the tiny crannies next to wires and brackets where sticky foods collect. Fluorinated toothpaste is vital to coat tooth enamel with a protective substance that helps to prevent decay. Angle the toothbrush to reach gently along the edges of the brace’s brackets and gum tissue while brushing teeth for at least two minutes in the morning and at night.

Floss Every Day

Many individuals also use battery powered toothbrushes or water floss machines to assist with dental care. Automated water floss machines are a good way to reach dental surfaces such as the backs of teeth that are difficult to see. Using a water floss device at least once a week can help to remove more plaque to prevent cavities between the teeth. In addition, gently blasting away more food debris ensures that an individual’s breath remains fresh because it also cleans the surface of the tongue and roof of the mouth. However, a water floss machine does not replace cleaning between teeth with regular handheld dental floss.

Eat Healthy Foods

Eating a nutritious diet that contains fresh produce instead of junk food is another way to prevent tooth decay. Sticky substances such as candy, potato chips and chewing gum can buildup on dental surfaces underneath wires, leading to cavities. Highly acidic foods, including soft drinks, tomatoes and oranges can degrade dental enamel causing more tooth decay. By eating meals and snacks on a regular schedule, individuals wearing braces will have a specific time each day to brush and floss teeth.