Wearing braces on your teeth can be a hassle, so you certainly want to have both a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth at the end of your treatment. That means you must be diligent about taking care of your teeth while wearing braces, so that you don’t develop cavities in the process. If you are a braces patient, you should know the hazards that increase your risk for cavities, as well as how to avoid getting them.
Cavities result when plaque accumulates on your teeth and gums. Acid from the plaque develops holes in your teeth, and these cavities start out small but can grow into big problems. Small cavities may go unnoticed, but as they progress it can cause pain and tooth sensitivity.
Braces do not cause cavities, but patients wearing braces are at higher risk for developing them. This is due to the increased amount of food that gets caught in your teeth and wires. When bacteria attacks the food debris, it causes plaque buildup and higher chances of cavity formation as well as gum disease.
Before beginning orthodontic treatment, see your dentist for a full examination of your mouth to make sure no cavities are present. If so, the cavities need to be treated prior to any orthodontic work. Once you are cavity-free, braces may be placed on your teeth.
Here are some tips to avoid cavities while you wear braces:
• Brush after each meal and snacks.
• Floss every day, even though it can be tricky around wires. Use flossers or other tools your orthodontist suggests to help make flossing easier.
• Use a mouthwash to combat bacteria left in your mouth.
• Some patients like using oral irrigators like waterpik to cleanse their mouth and wash away food particles.
• Limit the amount of sugar you eat and drink because it increases your risks for tooth decay.