From the moment your braces are put on, it’s easy to begin thinking ahead to the beautiful and healthy smile you’ll have at the end of treatment. For individuals with braces, one of the biggest obstacles — and the easiest to avoid — is tooth decay. While having braces in Gainesville requires additions to your daily oral hygiene routine, the team at Studio32 Orthodontics promises they worth the extra effort. Here are five tips for preventing tooth decay with braces.
1. Brush & Floss After Every Meal
At the very least, you should brush and floss twice-a-day. To effectively prevent tooth decay, ideal oral hygiene requires brushing and flossing after each meal. The less time bacteria has to linger in your mouth, the less likely tooth decay will develop. Travel-size toothbrushes are generally inconspicuous and can be stored in a bag, desk, or purse for easy, all-day access. Flossing is possible with braces and Invisalign, but if you find it difficult, ask Dr. Mullally about using an interdental brush instead. An interdental brush features a thin, cone-shaped or round head with bristles. The brush is inserted between the teeth and removes food particles and plaque when moved back and forth, similar to flossing.
2. Learn The Right Brushing Technique
When you have braces, you’ll want to update your brushing methods. Gainesville orthodontist Dr. Mullally can show you the right brushing technique to efficiently clean your teeth and braces. Always use fluoride toothpaste and brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums. Remember to brush the inside of your cheeks, the roof of your mouth, and tongue to remove residual food particles.
3. Consider What You’re Eating
Don’t let what you eat negate the positive effects of daily brushing and flossing. Certain food choices can increase the likelihood of tooth decay with braces. Chewy and sticky foods, usually desserts and other treats, can leave residue around brackets, even after you've brushed and flossed. Many of these foods are packed with sugar and promote bacterial growth and plaque formation, which are leading contributors to tooth decay. If you're unsure whether a certain food is braces-friendly, ask Dr. Mullally at your next check-up.
4. Think Before You Sip That Beverage
If it’s liquid, it can’t become lodged in your braces, right? This logic is not completely wrong, but it’s not entirely accurate, either. The contents of many popular beverages are often laden with acids and sugar, both of which wear down tooth enamel over time. Examples of common beverages any orthodontist in Gainesville, FL, would suggest avoiding include energy drinks, fruit juices, sodas, and sports drinks.
5. Schedule Orthodontics Check-Ups
An easy way to prevent tooth decay is to schedule regular check-ups with your Invisalign orthodontist, as well as your general dentist. Dr. Mullally will examine your mouth and teeth, adjust the wires if necessary, and replace your elastic bands. She can also spot the onset of plaque buildup and tooth decay in the early stages. To schedule an appointment, contact us today!