One of the most common orthodontic treatments available today is dental braces. Dental braces are used to straighten misaligned teeth so as to improve their appearance but also to improve the way they function. Important as they may be when it comes to correcting malocclusion of the teeth, dental braces require proper care and oral hygiene so as to work effectively and to minimise the potential for dental disease or infection.
If you are a potential candidate for dental braces, here's a rundown of some tips you can practice in this regard.
Keep your mouth clean.
While you are wearing braces, it is easy for tiny food particles to become lodged in the nooks and crannies of your braces as well as on the hard-to-reach areas of your teeth and gums. If not removed effectively, the build-up can form a tacky, uncoloured film of bacteria on the teeth and along the gum line. This film is known as plaque and it turns into tartar when it hardens. A build-up of plaque or tartar on your tooth enamel (the outer tissue of your teeth) and along your gum line increases the risk of dental complications such as tooth cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontitis and so on.
To remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums, it is important that you brush and floss your teeth regularly but also thoroughly. You can use interdental brushes for your normal teeth brushing and floss threaders to help remove food debris that may be caught in the nooks and crannies of your braces, as well as between teeth and on your gums. Be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing and flossing so as to get rid of loose food particles.
Steer clear of sugary diets.
Highly sugary foods and drinks are never good for your teeth. Anything loaded with sugar will increase the risk of tooth decay because sugar is a carbohydrate — and carbohydrates are what produce acids that accelerate the spread of harmful bacteria on your teeth and gums, subsequently leading to tooth decay. Taking sugary foods and drinks when you are wearing braces can further heighten the risk of tooth decay because sugar may be retained in the mouth much easily.
Consider reducing your intake of sugar once your braces have been fitted. And, when you indulge yourself a bit, be sure to brush and floss your teeth properly and then swish water around your teeth and gum to get rid of loose food debris.
Go for regular check-ups.
Last but not least, make sure you go for regular check-ups. This will ensure your dentist assesses your overall oral health, but also identifies and remedies any potential dental issue before it can exacerbate. During these visits, your dentist can also give you professional advice on how best to handle and care for your braces.
With these oral care practices, your orthodontic treatment with dental braces will almost certainly be effective. In case you are faced with a dental emergency when wearing braces, make sure you see a dentist right away.
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