8 Steps to prevent tooth decay while wearing braces
June 20, 2018
Making a commitment to wearing braces is a paramount step toward obtaining a beautiful smile. It is a lifetime commitment and an investment in your life. Dr. Nancy Phan applauses you to make this first step and also want you to minimize tooth decay during the process. Make sure you adopt these 8 steps to protect those pearl, healthy and white teeth.
- Brush after each meal. Whether you wear braces or not, food tend to adhere to the teeth. With braces on, it can be a bit hard to brush and you tend to collect more food since there are more surfaces for food to bind to. It may seem to be a lot of work to brush, but if you dedicate yourself to brush after each meal, you will get used to the routine quickly. Brush around the teeth and the brackets. Pay attention around the gum level as plaque tends to sit around there. Use an inter-dental brush to get in between the brackets and rub around the brackets near the gum line. Inter-dental brush looks like a Christmas tree and has small tip to get in hard to places better than a regular toothbrush.
- Floss daily. Use a floss threader to get below the wire and floss to remove bits and pieces of food that stuck in between the teeth and around the gum. Flossing reduce the risks of cavities in between the teeth and reduce the risk of swelling gum and bleeding gum caused by food embedded in the gum pockets for days at a time.
- Use a water flosser. The popular brand such as Waterpik has pressurized pulsating water stream to clean around the braces and leave your teeth free of plaque and bacteria.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash before bedtime. Fluoride rinse helps to stop the acid attacks, strengthen your weak enamel and rebuild the enamel rods. They cut down decays and cavities.
- Minimize snacks. Each time you eat, your teeth are overwhelmed by acid challenge from the degradation of sugars. Multiple exposure of acid can lead to high risk of decay.
- Avoid sugar and carbonated drinks. Sugar in soda, combines with bacteria in your mouth, form acid and attach the teeth. Drinking too many soft drinks such as carbonated soda, sport drinks and sweet liquids will lead to ongoing acid attack and weaken tooth enamels.
- Drink plenty of water. Water wash away bacterial and sugar to pause or minimize the tooth damage.
- See your dentist two or three time a years. Each year, you need at least 2-4 professional cleaning at the general dentists o keep your teeth, gum and periodontal structure healthy and free oral bacterial diseases.
Dr. Nancy Phan is a Board-certified orthodontist who has treated many children and adults and served the San Jose community are for over a decade. Visit us www.CareOrthodontics.com for more education materials and office information.