How To Prevent Tooth Decay While Wearing Braces

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Wearing braces presents new challenges when it comes to maintaining your dental hygiene. The nooks and crannies created by your braces’ brackets and wires can leave lots of areas where bacteria can attack, if you don’t properly care for your teeth. And when your braces come off, you want to see a straight, white smile – not one dotted with decay or stains.

Dr. Nima, an Alpharetta orthodontist, offers the following tips to all of his patients.

  1. Brush properly. It may sound silly, but not everyone knows proper brushing technique. To be the most accurate, hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against the gums. This allows for you to clean the whole tooth better. Gently brush between the wires and your teeth, and use a soft-bristled brush. Always brush with fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Floss regularly. It can be hard to get the floss under the wires of your braces, so use a floss threader, if needed. East Gate Orthodontics in Chantilly, VA offers some helpful tips for anyone with braces. If you’re really unsure, they recommend you ask your orthodontist for advice to help.
  3. Brush after every meal. Wearing braces makes it harder for the food particles to be washed away from drinking water or the natural rinsing of your saliva. Sometimes, these particles get stuck in braces, making it important to brush after each time you eat. If you can’t brush right away, rinse your mouth out with water.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Avoid foods that are high in sugar or too acidic, as they can cause tooth decay, or weaken the enamel, making them more susceptible to decay.
  5. Maintain regular checkups with your dentist. You should visit your dentist every six months, and this is especially true while you are in orthodontic treatment. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to ensure optimum oral health.

Some patients may also benefit from using a Water Pik or water flosser to help keep the teeth clean. The pulsing water can help push out food particles that have become stuck in harder to reach places. A water pik is a great addition to at-home oral care.

“It is important to take the extra effort while in braces to keep your teeth as clean and healthy as possible,” says Dr. Nima.

“My goal at the end of your treatment is for you to have the most beautiful and best functioning smile possible. We work hard to make that happen, and we don’t want to see all of your hard work negated by tooth decay.”

If you have any questions about your oral care routine while in braces, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Nima’s office. He and his staff are always happy to answer your questions.

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