The Importance of Dental Hygiene with Braces
October is notably categorized as the month of candy and spooky surprises, but what most people do not realize is that throughout the United States, October is designated National Orthodontics Health Month! Our team here at Michael J. Leach, D.D.S. Pediatric Dentistry, is dedicated to partnering with our local orthodontic offices to bring awareness about the important health benefits that healthy, straight teeth possess. Through this post we hope to provide helpful tips for keeping teeth clean and sparkly for our patients who are currently in braces.
Simply because you have braces on your teeth does not mean that you can neglect flossing. Just as it is important to floss once a day to clean in between without brackets on, it is even more important when braces are on the teeth.
Flossing with braces on may seem like a daunting task, but allow us to break it down for you. Start by using a floss threader and thread the flosser under the wire between the teeth. Then, simply floss between the teeth like normal. Repeat in between each tooth until you have flossed each one.
Ahhhh! A bracket came off, now what?
If a bracket comes off or becomes loose, always call your orthodontist. They may want you to schedule a visit as soon as possible for them to repair the issue.
Why is brushing with braces so important?
Brushing teeth removes plaque buildup that has accumulated throughout the day and overnight. Plaque contains acid which can begin to decalcify teeth. Sadly, this results in visible white spots on the teeth. It is important to keep in mind these white spots are permanent and cannot be remedied with bleaching. A problem that these decalcified spots pose is the potential to become decay within the tooth. But keep in mind, this is 100% preventable with proper brushing of the teeth.
When brushing teeth with braces, use a gentle, circular motion. Brush above and below the brackets to remove all food debris and plaque. It is important to note to brush teeth two times a day for two minutes. Ideally, brushing will happen after each meal.
A few, final thoughts
Stay away from chewing on ice or hard/sticky candies with braces as this can damage the brackets.
If a wire is poking against the cheek or tongue, make use of the ortho wax that your orthodontic office should have provided. If you do not have any ortho wax or are running low, be sure to contact your orthodontist.
We are all working together to create a happy, healthy smile for every child in the North Fulton area!
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