5 tips to help prevent tooth decay after braces

5 tips to help prevent tooth decay after braces The aims of orthodontic treatment in patients with malocclusion are to improve the aesthetics of the oral and maxillofacial area and to optimize masticatory function by changing tooth alignment. However, orthodontic treatment can have undesirable consequences, including periodontal disease, root resorption, tooth devitalization, temporomandibular disorder, caries, and damage to the enamel. Dental caries that develop in patients who have received orthodontic treatment can cause inefficient mastication as well as premature tooth loss, thereby impacting the quality of life. Furthermore, caries in the anterior teeth compromise the aesthetic enhancement achieved by orthodontic treatment, even in the early demineralization stage. Although the prevalence of dental caries is decreasing globally, orthodontic treatment is still recognized as a strong risk factor for dental caries. Fixed orthodontic appliances allow the accumulation of dental plaque, which promotes demineralization of enamel and results in dental caries.

They emphasized that clinicians should educate patients about the prevention of dental caries before orthodontic treatment is initiated and should not recommend orthodontic treatment to patients who are not motivated to perform good dental hygiene. Moreover, orthodontic treatment is indispensable in resolving malocclusion, which may be mild (such as crowding) or severe (such as impaction or abnormal tooth eruption), causing serious oral dysfunction. Malocclusion in itself may also be a risk factor for dental caries, and it has been reported that patients who are receiving orthodontic treatment have an improved ability to manage their oral hygiene. Therefore, the effect of orthodontic treatment on dental caries is unclear.1

5 tips to help prevent tooth decay after braces

To stop this from happening, follow these four tips to help prevent tooth decay after braces.

1. Brush Your Teeth Daily : If you’ve already been following good dental hygiene habits, keep up the good work! Continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day. With braces, it is often a good idea to brush your teeth after every meal since the chance of something getting stuck in there is higher. Rinse your mouth with water first to loosen up any particles. Then, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and make small circles to clean the teeth. Do this both upward and downward to clean both sides of the braces.

2. Floss Your Teeth : You might be wondering how you can floss your teeth properly with the braces in the way. You simply use floss to insert the floss in between the teeth on the other side of the braces. Your dentist will show you how to do it before you leave the office.

3. Choose the Right Foods : Unfortunately, you can’t eat whatever you please when you have braces. Peanut brittle, popcorn, nuts, hard or jellied sweets, and even pizza are off the menu. Eating this type of sticky food can lead you to be back in the orthodontist’s chair to repair your broken braces. Stick with softer food. Also, avoid biting into foods, even softer ones like bananas. Instead, cut up your fruits and vegetables into bite-sized pieces so you can easily pop them into your mouth. Anytime you eat anything with a lot of sugar, be sure to brush well afterward to help keep plaque from forming, but wait 20 minutes after eating to give your teeth time to recover from the acid attack.

4. See the Orthodontist Regularly : Regular trips to the orthodontist will help keep your teeth in tip-top shape. They’ll notice any early indications of tooth decay symptoms and help you avoid more serious problems. Additionally, the orthodontist will ensure that your braces are performing well. They may tighten the braces as your teeth move and make other small adjustments to facilitate your journey to straight teeth.

5. Incorporate a water-flosser : Even after brushing and flossing, some debris may become loose and remain in your mouth. To get rid of any remaining food, bacteria, and plaque, you may want to invest in a water flosser. These push water through a device to flush around your teeth and braces.

What are the signs of cavities?

There are a number of signs that you should look out for if you’re worried about cavities. It’s important to monitor any symptoms that may appear so you can receive the treatment you need before it progresses any further.

  • Toothaches. Pain that occurs spontaneously or when eating should be a big warning sign that something isn’t quite right.
  • Sensitivity. You might notice a tingling sensation when you consume hot or cold foods, which may be a sign of early decay or gum recession.
  • Visible holes. Cavities can erode your teeth, leaving pits and holes. These may not always cause pain, but should always be cause for concern.
  • Discoloration. Your teeth may first show signs of cavities as white spots, which over time can darken to be brown or black.3