The number of people on dental braces has doubled in the last two decades. An orthodontic treatment designed to correct malocclusion, spacing, crowding, and jaw joint disorders, dental braces have become a popular remedy for people to achieve a straighter set of teeth.
Dental braces also prevent gum recession, oral bone deterioration, tooth decay, bleeding gums, enamel deterioration, and bite problems caused by crooked or malpositioned teeth.
Brackets attached to each tooth by bonding and connected by an archwire make up dental braces. When putting together, these components caused the gradual movement of the teeth in a particular direction by applying pressure. Pressure and movement of the teeth alter bone formation.
Patients typically wear dental braces for 18 to 14 months, depending on the case and the patient’s response to the treatment plan.
Despite its known effectiveness in straightening the teeth, the best result still lies in proper care. While wearing braces, patients need to give extra attention to their oral health since the orthodontic appliance can make cleaning the mouth a bit of a challenge.
How can I ensure the health of my teeth and gums while on braces?
Here are some tips you follow to keep your oral health at its best condition while on braces:
Cliché, right? Although brushing seems to be a staple part of our life, a lot of people still miss on the memo on the importance of brushing.
Wearing braces increases the susceptibility of food getting stuck between teeth and on the wires. Therefore, forming the habit of brushing helps in preventing unwanted food particles from staying longer in the mouth. Brush every after meal or at least twice a day. However, note that brushing must be done at least 30 minutes after eating especially something acidic. By doing so, you give your mouth the time to neutralize its acidity.
#2 Go for an interdental toothbrush!
Although a regular toothbrush can clean your teeth, an interdental toothbrush can provide additional clean to your mouth. Interdental toothbrushes remove food and plaque from the teeth easier than flossing. Interdental toothbrushes also offer various types which can accommodate your particular needs.
#3 Rinse with mouthwash!
Brushing and flossing are sometimes insufficient in providing optimum clean off the mouth, so it is best to give a swish with mouthwash. Like brushes, mouthwash comes in different variants crafted for a user’s needs.
#4 Say no to sweets!
Sugar can increase the prevalence of bacteria which produce acid that causes enamel erosion. Aside from the sugar in sweets like candies and chocolates, these candies will likely stick between the teeth and on the wires.
Dental professionals advise against sticky candies like Tootsie Rolls, hard candies, small-sized candies like Skittles and M&M’s, and popcorn. Sticky candies can lodge between the teeth, on the gums, and braces. Meanwhile, hard candies can damage the orthodontic appliance due to the pressure and force of biting them down. Small-sized candies and popcorn can get caught between the teeth and braces.
#5 Snack on healthier alternatives!
If the previous bullet made you sad, don’t be! Instead of candies and food that can damage your braces and teeth, go for braces-friendly snacks. Apples, carrots, cheese, yogurt, and celery will make good afternoon snacks.
#6 Visit your dentist!
When on dental braces, you might need to see your dentist more often than the usual bi-annual check-up. Make sure to attend these appointments to ensure your progress and check for dental issues as soon as possible.