A modern type of orthodontic appliance, clear aligners apply gentle pressure to the teeth to create a straighter, better-aligned smile. These aligners are considered by most to be more aesthetically pleasing than traditional braces and can be more hygienic as well. Although they are relatively simple to use, patients often have questions about what to…
Maintaining Oral Hygiene With Braces
If you have braces, your teeth need extra attention. Good dental hygiene will protect your teeth from staining, decay and even gum disease. Precautions should also be taken to avoid damaging braces. Read on to learn about how you can maintain oral hygiene with braces.
Caring for teeth with braces
Braces attract plaque and food debris. The proper removal of plaque and food debris from around the braces will protect the gums and teeth from being affected by diseases. A high level of at-home care decreases the incidence of problems such as tooth decay. It will also help maintain the braces. All orthodontic patients need to know how to clean their braces. A patient should also avoid specific foods.
A toothbrush with soft bristles and a compact head is recommended for cleaning teeth with braces. The head should be small enough to allow it to get to all of the teeth. A person should remove elastics before brushing, which will ensure wires and hooks are not disturbed. All surfaces of the teeth should be cleaned. Brushing the top and bottom surfaces of the brackets will help remove food debris and plaque. The front of the wires and brackets should also be cleaned.
Food usually gets trapped under the wires and in the spaces between the teeth. Flossing under the wires will remove food debris before it damages the tooth enamel. People with braces should floss every day. An orthodontist may recommend the use of floss threaders to make it easier for a person to floss around braces.
A person with clear braces should ensure that stains are cleaned. These braces are vulnerable to staining just like natural teeth. Keeping the teeth clean is beneficial. It will ensure that no plaque is trapped around the braces. Brushing should be done after every meal and flossing at least once each day is advisable.
Foods to avoid
People with braces should know the types of foods that can cause problems. Eating a lot of starchy or sugary foods can cause plaque to accumulate around the brackets. This can cause cavities, staining of the teeth and even lead to gum disease. Some foods can even damage the braces.
A person should avoid foods that can get stuck and be difficult to clean. These include sticky and chewy foods such as chocolate. Hard foods such as popcorn, apples and nuts should also be avoided. These can damage the wires of the braces and end up loosening the brackets. Chewing gum is discouraged. Sometimes, a patient may be required to cut some foods into small pieces so that they can be chewed easily.
Keep your braces clean
Patients should know how to clean braces effectively. Some effective tools for cleaning braces include a toothbrush and dental floss. Good dental hygiene will ensure that food debris and plaque are removed from the teeth. This will help you prevent problems such as cavities and gum disease. You should also avoid eating chewy or hard foods. If you want to learn more about how to clean braces at home, contact your orthodontist.
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