Patients that suffer with crooked teeth from an over bite, under bite or cross bite may not realize it, but there are many areas in the mouth where plaque build-up can occur due to the inability to adequately reach the area with dental floss and a tooth brush. Dental braces can help to overcome two problems; patients receive a beautiful smile and straightened teeth allows excellent daily dental hygiene to occur.
Throughout orthodontic treatment, the patient must focus on learning how to floss their teeth. Your orthodontist can demonstrate the best way to maneuver the floss to perform this function effectively. Since plaque build-up starts where bacteria are allowed to stay, learning how to perform this basic hygiene task will serve you well.
Patients that suffer with crooked teeth from an over bite, under bite or cross bite may not realize it, but there are many areas in the mouth where plaque build-up can occur due to the inability to adequately reach the area with dental floss and a tooth brush.
In addition to flossing, brushing teeth with a fluoridated tooth paste is advised at least twice per day, more often if possible. It is important to brush the front of the teeth AND the back of the teeth. So many patients focus on the part of the tooth that is seen, but the back of the teeth, particularly at the gum line, is where tartar and plaque have a tendency to get their start.
Dental decay occurs when dental enamel has been breached. The culprit is bacteria. Bacteria forms when food or beverages are allowed to linger on the teeth. Patients that wear braces have to be very aware of how plaque can form around the brackets of their braces.
In addition to daily flossing and brushing, there are a couple of precautionary measures that orthodontic patients should consider:
- Limit sugary snacks and beverages.
- Abstain from tobacco use.
- Know your mouth – any unusual sensitivity or twinge could signal a problem.
- Fluoride protects teeth – if your dental provider encourages fluoride application in the office or using a fluoride rinse, heed the advice and follow through.
- Avoid foods that are likely to stick to braces – they will stick to your teeth as well.
Even the most vigilant patient may encounter dental decay. Seeing your orthodontist for every scheduled appointment, and keeping a diary of problems and concerns to review with your provider will keep you one step ahead of trouble.
The reward for wearing braces will be a radiant smile; being conscientious about your hygiene regimen throughout treatment will help keep you decay free.