Preventing Tooth Decay When Wearing Braces

By not practicing proper oral hygiene, you are putting the entirety of your mouth at risk, but mainly your teeth. While wearing braces, there are some very specific hygienic practices to which you must commit yourself in order to prevent that most dreaded of oral problems: tooth decay. Even a number of people who are quite good with their oral hygiene suffer from problems once they receive their braces. Hopefully, however, this brief article will act as a guide for you to take preventative measures against tooth decay while wearing braces.

Proper Brushing Techniques

One of the biggest hurdles that many new wearers of braces must overcome is utilizing a proper brushing technique in order to adequately clean your teeth. This brushing technique differs from the technique that people without braces have to use and, as such, takes a bit of getting used to.

Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against your gums in order to scrub the entirety of your tooth. Make sure that you gently brush the area around the wiring so as to not damage it. Make sure that you're using a softer toothbrush with a fluoride toothpaste.

Disinfecting the entirety of your mouth is also imperative. Make sure that you always use an oral rinse or mouthwash after brushing your teeth, and that you're rigorously swishing the rinse throughout the entirety of your mouth, so as to hit every single tooth.

Brushing After Every Meal

This is good advice regardless of whether or not you have braces, but if you do have braces, it is imperative that you brush after every meal. Braces block food that would naturally not get stuck in your teeth or areas in your mouth, so getting rid of this food is something that you have to do after every meal. Make sure to floss, as well.

This will often times mean taking your toothbrush with you in public and brushing your teeth in the bathroom of restaurants that you frequent. Sadly, the only advice that can be offered about the squeamishness of that situation is: get used to it. If you allow food to sit on your teeth and especially behind your braces, you're allowing plaque to build up and, as such, tooth decay will become a very real possibility for you.

Braces-Safe Food

Sadly, there are a number of foods that you will have to forego eating after you get your braces on. This is due to the fact that braces and certain types of food simply do not mix and many of these foods can stick to your braces and eventually lead to tooth decay.

First and foremost, do not eat particularly sticky foods. Gum is an absolute no-no if you're a person with braces on and chewy sweets like caramel will only exacerbate the potentiality of tooth decay. Hard foods, such as nuts and hard candies, can also bend your wires and brackets and easily become stuck around the bracket area, which is another problem that can eventually lead to tooth decay.

Even healthy foods that are hard and crunchy should be avoided when possible; while they are less likely to lead to the build up of plaque, they can still get stuck in the area around your brackets, which can lead to decay. Soft foods that are quite low in enamel busting acids are generally the provenance of those who wear braces.

When it comes to your teeth decaying, you should take the issue quite seriously. For those who wear braces, this is a very real potential threat that is only exacerbated by not paying attention to your oral hygiene. 

For more information, contact a professional like Wright Center For Orthodontics.