Braces are a common tool used to fix the alignment of a patient’s teeth, jaw, etc. Braces fix a wide variety of issues when it comes to oral health. They even help prevent further issues from occurring. However, braces, especially traditional braces with brackets that fix to your teeth, can be a handful to take care of. Because of this, oral hygiene can become an issue for some resulting in mistakes that could cause future issues if not corrected. Oral hygiene is important with braces, and if disregarded, could cause various issues such as decaying teeth, discolored spots on teeth, plaque buildup, gum disease, etc.

No Flossing

Flossing can be quite the task with braces. This is because the brackets block the floss from being able to reach the gum portion of the tooth. Due to this, many people will skip flossing altogether. However, with braces, flossing is more important than ever since they cause food particles to easily get stuck and collect around teeth and gums. There are special floss threaders that your orthodontist can give you if you like using traditional floss. These allow you to get the floss into the hard tor each area closer to the gum. However, a water pick is often suggested for those with braces, in place of flossing. Not only is it quick but, it can blast food particles out of places even floss can’t reach, ensuring a nice clean mouth.

Junk Food

As mentioned, while wearing braces, food particles get trapped in and around teeth more than usual. Not to mention, braces themselves are more fragile than teeth themselves. Because of both of these reasons, it’s suggested that junk food and items such as hard candy, nuts, gum, etc. are avoided. Acidic foods and drinks are also supposed to be avoided. Many people disregard this suggestion and end up with white patches on their teeth or broken brackets resulting in even more visits to the orthodontist or dentist to make repairs on the braces or to correct the discoloration and plaque buildup on teeth.

Don’t Brush Often Enough

Brushing is already important, and many people only do it once a day. It’s suggested, on average, that people brush at least twice a day even if they don’t have braces. When someone has braces, it’s even more important to observe this brushing suggestion. Many people stick to their same habit of brushing after braces however, they should be adding on at least one more brushing on a daily basis. This ensures braces stay nice and clean since they are a breeding ground for bad bacteria and a trap for food particles. If not brushed often enough, gums can become inflamed, plaque can buildup on teeth, and all this can lead to gum disease, bad breath, etc. It’s suggested that patients brush or at least use mouthwash/rinse after each meal when wearing braces. This way, food particles or bacteria aren’t left to buildup around teeth and brace brackets.

It’s common for an orthodontist or dental professional to give you all the information on dental hygiene once you get your braces on. If they didn’t, or if you have questions, call your dental professional and ask as many questions as you need to. Many dental professionals are more than happy to educate patients on correct dental hygiene to ensure a beautiful, healthy smile.