Straightening teeth can have a profoundly positive impact on your oral health. Unfortunately, while highly effective, wearing orthodontic braces also affects your daily routines, like eating and brushing your teeth. By making dental hygiene slightly more difficult, braces can increase a patient’s risk of developing dental issues that result from excessive dental plaque, including tooth decay (the disease that causes cavities). Luckily, however, cavities are still highly preventable even with metal brackets and wires attached to your teeth! So no need to worry. Lets take a look at the facts…

The Birth of a Cavity

With or without braces, good dental hygiene focuses on controlling the buildup of dental plaque, which contains over 600 different kinds of oral bacteria. As the microbes accumulate on your teeth, some of them release acid. This acid is metabolized from sugar and other carbohydrates that can destroy tooth enamel, making the tooth vulnerable to infectious bacteria.

Brushing and flossing your teeth every single day is key! During orthodontic treatment, sticky plaque and food debris can cling to hard-to-reach places, like between your braces and teeth, and diligent care is required to ensure that your teeth remain clean and healthy.

Good Hygiene with Braces

An interdental cleaner is recommended and will help you clean away plaque and food debris from behind and around your braces. Also, refraining from certain foods like candy and jerky will help keep maintenance simple. If possible, brush after every meal to minimize the amount of acid that oral bacteria produce. If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, at least rinse your mouth with water, swishing it around for at least 30 seconds to dislodge food particles and neutralize acid.

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