In the past two decades, the number of people on dental braces has significantly grown. People who wish to achieve a straighter set of teeth turned to these orthodontic appliances to correct malocclusion, issues with spacing and crowding, and jaw joint disorders.
Additionally, dental braces have become helpful in preventing gum recession, tooth decay, bleeding gums, bite problems, and enamel deterioration due to malpositioned or crooked teeth. With pressure and movement from the brackets and archwire, the appliance alters bone formation by gradually moving the teeth in particular directions.
Patients need to wear these orthodontic appliances for 18 to 24 months. The length depends on the gravity of the condition and how the patient responds to the treatment plan.
However, despite the known effectiveness of braces in correcting dental issues and straightening the teeth, getting the best result still depends on proper care. During the treatment period, the teeth will need extra attention because wearing the orthodontic appliance makes cleaning the mouth, particularly the teeth, challenging.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums while on Braces
Below are valuable tips you should follow to ensure that your oral health is at its best condition while you are under orthodontic treatment.
#1 Get Your Toothbrush and Brush Your Teeth
Basic, right? However, people tend to miss out on this simple oral care, leading to dental problems to arise. The call for regular brushing becomes more urgent while wearing dental braces. This is such because the brackets and archwire increase the chance of food getting stuck between the teeth.
Make it a habit to brush the teeth every after a meal or at least two times a day. By doing so, you lessen the likelihood of harmful bacteria lurking in the mouth. But, dental professionals advise brushing the teeth at least 30 minutes following a meal especially after consuming something acidic. The time gap allows the mouth to neutralize its acidity.
#2 Use an Interdental Toothbrush
A regular toothbrush works well in cleaning out the visible parts of the teeth. However, it is not enough when it comes to those spaces in-between. Although flossing works too, the string can get easily tangled with the brackets and archwire. Instead, make use of an interdental toothbrush to access those areas.
Moreover, these brushes come in various types to accommodate the patient’s particular needs.
#3 Gargle with Mouthwash
If you think brushing and flossing are enough, think again. Achieve optimum oral health and ensure mouth health by washing everything off with a mouthwash.
#4 Avoid Sweets
Avoiding sweets is no longer a new reminder for healthy teeth. Dentists and our parents have cautioned us against the effects of sweets on our teeth. When wearing dental braces, the call for avoiding sugary treats becomes stronger as sugar increases the prevalence of bacteria. The bacteria then produce acid which leads to enamel erosion.
Moreover, these candies tend to get stuck between the teeth and on the wires. Dentists strongly advise against sticky, hard, and small-sized candies. Sticky candies like Tootsie Rolls have the tendency to lodge between the teeth, braces, and on the gums. On the other hand, hard candies may damage the brackets and archwire. The force used when biting them down puts pressure on the teeth. Small-sized candies and popcorn can also get caught in the spaces between the teeth and braces.
#5 Go Healthy for Your Snacks
Fortunately, you need not to remove snacking from your diet as long as you choose healthy foods to snack on. Instead of candies and foods that damage the teeth and braces, eat teeth-friendly foods. Carrots, cheese, apples, yogurt, and celery make a good and healthy afternoon snack.
#6 See Your Dentist!
Wearing dental braces will require more dental visits due to the need for adjustments and progress monitoring. Attend all these appointments! A visit to the dentist also allows for early detection and prevention of dental issues.