Plan for the Future
Think of braces as an investment in the future. Even high-tech toothbrushes struggle to clean the tight spaces between crowded or overlapping teeth. As braces align teeth, it becomes easier to prevent decay. Dr. L’Tanya Joy Bailey proudly educates her patients on the benefits of proper dental hygiene practices in a friendly, relaxing atmosphere.
Why is dental hygiene so important?
Brackets and wires work hard to guide teeth into alignment, but they do not actually take care of the teeth. In fact, brushing and flossing become even more important when wearing braces to prevent plaque build-up, staining, and decay. Proper dental hygiene practices help remove food particles and keep bacteria growth in check. Special brushes reach under the wires and allow patients to dislodge food particles before they have a chance to build-up and turn into plaque.
What can happen as a result of poor oral hygiene habits?
Poor oral hygiene can not only lead to tooth decay but also infection and gum disease. Braces allow small food particles to stay trapped against teeth. As bacteria digest sugars in the food, acids are left behind on teeth. When brackets are removed, those with questionable dental hygiene practices may have outlines of plaque and stains or possible areas of decay. Unfortunately, when additional treatment is needed to correct the consequences of poor oral hygiene, it can extend the regular adjustment schedule.
How can I ensure smooth white teeth on reveal day?
A soft toothbrush and dental floss are the minimum tools required. Plan to carry a mini dental hygiene kit so you can clean your teeth after snacks and meals. Interdental brushes work to remove food bits and larger debris from under wires and around brackets. Interproximal brushes are best for getting into the nooks and crannies created by fixed appliances. Floss threaders make it easier to floss properly while wearing braces.
Avoid sugary foods to help prevent decay. Popcorn, bubblegum, taffy and hard foods can be enemies of both braces and teeth, so must be avoided. Choose fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods for snacks since they work by adding vitamins and minerals to keep teeth healthy from the inside out.
Take advantage of the special brushes and flossers to prevent build-up near brackets. A regular toothbrush held at an angle is the first line of defense, but it is better to brush smarter, not harder. Children and adolescents often need guided practice to learn proper care techniques. Parents should remind their children to brush and floss in order to establish a consistent routine.
Dr. Bailey and her team serve residents of High Point, NC and the surrounding area. They deliver top-notch orthodontic care to both children and adults. Each patient learns why dental hygiene is important when wearing braces. Dr. Bailey supports her patients from the initial exam and treatment phase to the retainer phase and beyond.