The opportunity to straighten out those misaligned pearly whites is an opportunity that thousands take advantage of every year. Perfectly aligned teeth enhance one’s smile and give people a sense of pride and confidence. However, with braces, solving one problem could very well lead to another, but it doesn’t have to.
Can Braces Cause Tooth Decay?
Some people who could benefit from getting braces have shied away from them due to misconceptions about the connection between cavities and braces. To answer the question as to whether braces cause cavities, the answer is no. On the other hand, without proper brushing and flossing, food lodged in the teeth can lead to tooth decay. This is true with or without braces. With proper dental hygiene, however, it is possible to get your teeth aligned with braces and without getting cavities.
Five Tips to Help You Keep Your Teeth Clean and Steer Clear of Tooth Decay:
1. Follow the oral health routine given to you by your Orthodontist:
Your orthodontist will give you an oral healthcare regimen which will give you the best chance at avoiding cavities. Sticking to the prescribed plan will require discipline but the results will have been well worth the efforts.
2. Brush after every meal:
Brushing after you eat will get rid of decay-causing bacteria. However, it’s important to wait 30 minutes after a meal or snack so that your saliva can wash away the acids produced by your food. After waiting the 30 minutes, brush thoroughly to ensure that any remaining food lingering in your mouth is removed.
3. After a good brushing, flossing will follow:
Using dental floss threaders will help you get to those hard-to-reach areas under your braces so that you can clean between the teeth. Your orthodontic provider will give you guidance as to how best to floss and with which tools, such as a water irrigator/flosser which does an excellent job of flushing out food particles.
4. Visit your dentist:
Monthly visits to your orthodontist will not replace your regularly scheduled visits to your dentist. Not only will she be able to clean your teeth, but also check for any signs of decay.
5. Avoid chewy, sugary foods:
Sugar is a major cause of cavities even without braces so limit your intake of these foods. Also be careful when chewing certain hard, crunchy foods like raw vegetables. They can cause the braces to break.
Be Mindful of Good Oral Health Practices While Wearing Braces
Maintaining good oral health requires diligence and a healthy measure of patience. Being mindful of the damage that can be caused by neglecting your teeth when wearing braces can serve as a motivator to pick up the toothbrush and floss after you eat.
To learn more about the best way to care for your teeth while wearing braces, contact the professionals at Wonder West Orthodontics today.