Orthodontic braces are very common among both young people as well as adults. As those with braces know, it can be very difficult to keep up with your oral hygiene once you have braces. However, having braces means it’s more important than ever to brush, floss, and see the dentist for regular cleanings. Oral hygiene problems due to braces are a commonly witnessed problem in family dentistry.
Braces are made of metal wire and brackets, or sometimes clear brackets, which can make food more likely to get stuck in your teeth, and make parts of your mouth harder to reach with a toothbrush. They also make it difficult to floss. As a result, some people’s oral hygiene suffers as a result. Not brushing and flossing properly can lead to gingivitis, cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease, all of which can impact your overall health.
To prevent these issues, here are some ways to keep up your oral hygiene routine, even with braces:
- Brush regularly: You may find yourself brushing more often in order to keep your braces clean. You may also want to use an electric toothbrush, which can be more effective when it comes to cleaning braces.
- Be careful with food: Avoiding foods with high acid content can help protect your tooth enamel from wearing down, and prevent cavities. High acid foods include sugary food and drinks (like pop), vinegar, and tomato-based food and drink. It’s also important to avoid hard or chewy food which can damage your braces and get stuck in your teeth. Ask your dentist if you are unsure.
- Floss threaders: It’s really important to use floss threaders so that you can floss properly in between your teeth. You can often get these from your dentist, or buy them at a drug store.
- Fluoride: Fluoride helps protect against tooth decay. Make sure you are using a toothpaste with fluoride.
- Don’t skip cleanings: Visit your family dentist for regular cleanings; they will be able to spot problems before they get worse.
Often those who have braces are young teenagers or children, so as their parent it’s important to oversee their oral hygiene and make sure you are investing in good family dentistry.
While it can be more difficult to keep up with your oral hygiene with braces, it isn’t impossible. If you are concerned about your oral health and have braces, be sure to speak with your dentist. For all family dentistry services and needs, don’t hesitate to contact Sierra Dental today!