Sullivan Bastian Orthodontics

Girl with teeth braces using interdental and traditional brush

What Happens If You Have Braces and Don’t Brush Your Teeth?

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So you’ve started your Orthodontic journey by getting your braces on at the Orthodontist, now what?

Wearing braces is only part of the job in getting that beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. If you want impressive results and a healthy mouth, you must take care of your teeth and braces. This means brushing your teeth properly and taking time to clean all the food particles or plaque that will accumulate around the brackets.

If you wish to learn the effects of not brushing your teeth while wearing braces, or just want to learn how to keep teeth with braces clean, continue reading below.

EFFECTS OF NOT BRUSHING TEETH WITH BRACES

It is essential to maintain proper oral hygiene, regardless if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment or not. Wearing braces just means you have to take extra care of your teeth, so you reduce any chances of developing other dental problems. Because of their design, braces are traps for plaque and food. Bacteria, food particles, and plaque will accumulate around the little brackets that are glued straight to your teeth. If these are not removed, they may demineralize the enamel around the bracket and form cavities.

If oral hygiene is not maintained when braces are removed, after your treatment, you could end up with a mouthful of cavities that need repairing or the worst case scenario is cavities could progress to the point of pain while you are still wearing your braces. In that case, you will have to see an orthodontic specialist and have the brackets removed, repair any cavities, remove plaque, reglue the brackets, and replace the wires.

When proper oral hygiene is not maintained, it leads to the formation of bacteria in your mouth. If this is not eliminated in time, it can destroy the tissue that supports the teeth. This leads to periodontal disease. Bacteria can also enter your bloodstream and potentially create other health problems. Wearing braces only amplifies these problems as you will have to remove braces with each visit to remove plaque, repair cavities or deal with any other dental issues that may appear due to inadequate oral hygiene.

HOW TO KEEP TEETH CLEAN WHILE WEARING BRACES

Wearing braces will straighten your teeth, fix any misalignment, and provide you with a beautiful smile. However, it also makes your teeth more difficult to clean, and you need to take extra care in order to avoid any unnecessary dental issues. Tooth decay is more likely to happen when you wear braces, as the metal brackets need to be adequately maintained and cleansed from all bacteria and food particles.

In order to keep your teeth clean, there are several braces care tips you should follow. Remember to rinse your mouth with pure water before you even start brushing your teeth. This will help you remove any loose food particles and will make the brushing a lot easier. When you start brushing, make sure you do not apply too much pressure. Patients with braces usually brush teeth with more force than needed, thinking it cleans the brackets more efficiently. This is not the case and may actually damage your teeth and braces in the long run.

Instead, brush the teeth at about a 45-degree angle. Gently brush the top of the brackets, followed by the bottom of the brackets and the wire. Having special, interdental brushes, will help you reach the tooth’s surface more efficiently and help you navigate around the brackets and wires in order to clean every tooth thoroughly. Try brushing your teeth after every meal and always rinse your mouth after every snack to avoid any possibilities of food sticking to the braces and teeth.

Flossing remains an essential component of proper oral hygiene even when wearing braces. Most people are unsure of how to floss with braces because of the wires going across the teeth. Using a floss threader will make this task a lot easier. It will take some practice to thread the floss under the main wire before passing it between two teeth. It can feel like a tiresome chore, but it is a necessity in order to keep your mouth healthy, your teeth clean, and your braces in place. Try flossing at least once a day.

Lastly, try avoiding certain foods that may damage your teeth and braces. You will want to avoid sticky foods, like caramel, that may get stuck between your teeth and braces and is difficult to clean. Also, foods and drinks with higher acidic content are not friendly to your teeth, braces or mouth in general. Your orthodontist can provide you with a list of foods and drinks that are best to avoid while wearing braces.

CONCLUSION

You are wearing braces because you want to have straight and healthy teeth. Part of wearing braces is brushing your teeth regularly and maintaining proper oral hygiene. Brush at least twice per day and try to rinse your mouth with water after every snack. Use floss and small interdental brushes to clean around each bracket and between the teeth and wires.

Everyone who wears braces knows how tiresome it is to keep the teeth, brackets, and wires clean, but the alternatives and consequences are much worse, while the results of proper hygiene are quite gratifying, leaving the patient with a clean and healthy smile.

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