Many people who wear braces, both adults and children, tend to forget about general oral hygiene. It’s harder to brush your teeth, as a large portion of them are covered with metal. Then, there are the rubber bands, the tightening wires, and other wires that make it even more difficult to brush, floss, and keep your mouth clean when you’re wearing braces. This is why it’s common for braces wearers to get cavities, even though they think they are doing a good job with their hygiene. So, let’s look at a few oral hygiene tips to prevent cavities when you wear braces.
Why Braces Wearers are Prone to Cavities
If you wear braces, you might have some concerns and difficulties with overall oral hygiene. Since braces are covering a large portion of your teeth, it is common for braces wearers to be more prone to getting cavities. Some reasons braces wearers struggle with cavities include
- It’s harder to brush certain areas
- Flossing is difficult with wires
- Your teeth are covered with metal, so food can get stuck easily
- You let food sit in your mouth too long
Although most people don’t brush after every single meal, those who wear braces are more inclined to get cavities when they don’t. This is because food gets lodged between the teeth and wires, and sticks below the metal brackets. All of these reasons contribute to the fact that you need to be extremely cautious when wearing braces and pay extra attention to keeping your teeth clean.
Avoiding Cavities While You’re Wearing Braces
So, how do you go about avoiding cavities while you’re wearing braces? Although it’s tough, it is not impossible if you’re willing to put in the effort to take care of your teeth. You’ll want to brush after every meal, and if you have sugary drinks (or colored drinks), brush immediately. You’ll also want to use the dental tools which are specifically designed for braces wearers. Waterpiks, special toothbrushes, and flossing is imperative to preventing cavities while you’re wearing braces.
You’ll also want to avoid certain foods, such as popcorn, hard candy, and sticky candies. Furthermore, a fluoride rinse and toothpaste can also help. You should try to go in for regular cleanings. If possible, try to get a cleaning with your hygienist every three to four months, rather than every six months which is suggested for non-braces wearers.
The more effort you put into it, the greater your teeth will look once straightened, and the easier it will be to prevent cavities while wearing braces.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Braces Wearers
Consider some of these basic tips that’ll improve overall oral hygiene, health, and help keep your teeth clean and cavity-free while wearing braces.
- Brush often; if possible, after every meal.
- Floss (ortho flossers and other specialized tools are available to get between wiring and brackets).
- Rinse after drinking beverages if you can’t brush immediately.
- Visit your orthodontist regularly and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings.
- Fluoride mouth rinse, toothpaste, and cleaning products can help.
- Listen to your orthodontist.
Sure, the last one seems obvious enough, but, especially with kids, not eating certain candies or foods that they like is often something they don’t listen to.
Regardless of your age, if you wear braces, it can be tough to maintain great oral hygiene during this time. To avoid bad breath, gingivitis, discoloration, and of course, cavities, these are a few simple tips you can utilize, to keep your teeth, mouth, and smile looking their best.