Oral Hygiene With Braces

At Dougherty Orthodontics, we offer a variety of braces to help to fix your dental problems and restore your smile. However, while braces play a very important role in oral health, they can result in additional dental problems, thus overshadowing any benefits they offer. For example, braces can easily retain food particles, dental plaque, and oral bacteria if you do not clean them and your mouth properly. This can easily cause an oral infection, or other problems such as tooth decay, cavities, gum infection, or gum disease. Therefore, when you get your braces, maintaining them through proper oral hygiene should be a top priority.

Why Is Dental Hygiene Important For People With Braces?

Braces are comprised of brackets, which are very helpful in straightening and aligning your teeth. However, these parts also create spaces where food, plaque (and thus oral bacteria) can be trapped. On top of that, braces make it much harder to reach some parts of your teeth and gums during brushing and flossing. Therefore, if you do not take extra effort in keeping your mouth clean, the chances are that the plaque and food particles trapped in the braces will lead to oral infection, tooth decay, or gum infection.

Aside from these dental problems, poor oral hygiene can also damage braces, especially metal braces that can be vulnerable to the acids produced by the oral bacteria. Therefore, not only can poor dental hygiene while wearing braces lead to additional dental problems, but it can also cause the current ones not to be fixed.

How To Maintain Optimal Oral Hygiene After Braces

There are several ways in which you can manage to maintain your dental hygiene while wearing braces:

  • Regular brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing is the best way to keep your mouth clean. However, since braces make it harder to do so, you should take extra effort. For example, brushing after every meal to eliminate food particles and flossing once – or more – every day. During brushing and flossing, you should also pay attention to every tooth to ensure that no food particles are left behind.
  • Rinsing. Even after brushing and flossing, it is still possible for some food particles and plaque to remain stuck in your teeth and gums. Using an antibacterial rinse can help to dislodge the food particles and neutralize the effects of the oral bacteria in the plaque.
  • Professional dental cleaning – professional dental cleaning can help to get rid of any plaque and tartar that has been hard to remove due to the braces.

In addition to these proper hygiene practices, you can also improve your dental hygiene and health by:

  • Avoiding sticky or sugary foods. Brushing and flossing will be harder when you are wearing braces. However, you can make it easy on yourself by avoiding wrong foods, for example, sticky foods and sugary foods.
  • Cleaning your braces regularly. Regularly cleaning your braces can help to get rid of any food particles, plaque, and oral bacteria that have accumulated. However, this is only an option if you are wearing removable braces.

Having trouble maintaining dental hygiene due to your braces? Don’t worry, we can help. Call us, Dougherty Orthodontics, at (818) 986-6223 to find out how you can maintain a clean and healthy mouth while still enjoying the benefits braces offer.