If you received braces in 2022, you should make it a priority in 2023 to practice good oral hygiene at home in 2023! Positive habits can carry over into the new year and proper oral hygiene is definitely one that should be on the list. If you haven’t been the best about proper brushing and flossing at home with your braces, strive to make it a goal in 2023 to be consistent because if you don’t you may suffer from tooth or gum problems along with other potential health problems.
Here are just a few reasons to work on your oral hygiene with braces:
Many do not realize that the mouth is a place to harbor bacteria and braces are the perfect place for bacteria to hide even more!
Microscopic bacteria and pathogens can stick to the teeth in the form of plaque and cause inflammation of the gums. When plaque is not properly removed by the mechanical act of brushing and flossing, there is a greater chance of plaque adhering to metal brackets on the tooth surfaces making it a party for bacteria causing increased bleeding, swollen gums, etc.
Decalcification can occur without proper toothbrushing!
“Decalcification” is the term for those little white spots that have appeared on teeth once braces have been removed. This is not a result from the braces themselves, but from a lack of proper oral hygiene at home. The white spots appear in areas where bacteria have sat on the teeth and eaten away at the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth). At this stage, it is not a cavity, but if the enamel were to be broken through there would be evidence of tooth decay.
Staying away from the dentist and dental hygienist can negatively affect your teeth, especially with braces!
Many people go their lives without needing a filling or restorative dental treatment from the dentist. However, many people do visit with their dental hygienist at least twice a year and if you don’t visit often enough this can impact the health of your mouth, especially if you have braces! The dental hygienist is extensively trained in removing hardened plaque (calculus/tartar) on the teeth that cannot be removed at home with a toothbrush and floss. If this calculus is left on the teeth for an extended amount of time, it can cause periodontal (gum) disease and diminish the alveolar bone your teeth sit in in the jaws. Additionally, the dental hygienist can help give proper oral health instructions regarding brushing and flossing for when you are at home to ensure you are doing a good job keeping your braces clean!
At Gladwell Orthodontics, we acknowledge that orthodontic treatment is essential, but so is proper at home hygiene! We recommend that during orthodontic treatment you still continue to visit with your dentist at least every 6 months to ensure that bacteria is not building up on your teeth or orthodontic appliances. We work with many great dentists in the area and are happy to give you a referral if this is something you may need. Please contact us or visit our website for any questions!