Let’s face it: wearing braces is complicated. Orthodontics are designed to move your teeth into proper spacing and alignment to improve the look and health of your entire mouth. Yet, without proper care throughout your treatment period, braces actually heighten your risk for gum disease and tooth decay because the brackets and wires provide plenty of space for particles of food and plaque to hide. Luckily, you have options when it comes to keeping your braces – and your teeth – clean and healthy while wearing braces.
1. Interdental Brushes
As the name implies, these tiny handheld brushes are designed to fit between teeth and were originally intended as an alternative to traditional dental floss. Incidentally, they also fit nicely in those hard-to-reach places around brackets and behind wires to dislodge trapped food and sticky plaque. Talk to your orthodontist about which brand and size of interdental brush might work best for your unique needs.
2. Water Flossers
Water flossers first hit shelves in the 1960s and have been gaining popularity ever since. A number of well-known brands promote water flossers as a better way for you to clean between your teeth and, surprisingly, around brackets and wires to keep your mouth exceptionally clean while you undergo orthodontic therapy. “Sonic” or electric flossers consist of a handheld flossing wand that shoots a jet of water from an attached reservoir. Faucet-powered flossers connect directly to the faucet and propel a jet of tap water between the teeth, exactly like the electric/sonic versions. Faucet-powered versions do not require the use of electricity, batteries, or a reservoir. Both types of water flosser come with attachments specially designed to reach tight spaces between brackets and wires.
3. Fluoridated Mouth Wash
If your orthodontist believes you might be at a higher risk for developing tooth decay during your orthodontic treatment (risk factors include age, history of dental hygiene at home, diet, etc.), he may prescribe a high-concentration fluoridated mouthwash or suggest you use an over-the-counter brand of fluoride mouthwash (such as ACT®). The extra fluoride will neutralize acids and remineralize your enamel to keep them strong while the swishing action will remove any bits of food or plaque that you may have missed while brushing and flossing.
About Dr. Cabal
Dr. Ciro Cabal is a dedicated family orthodontist whose lifelong passion for providing exceptional dental care continues to this day as he serves patients of all ages from Ft. Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, and the surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment to discuss invisible braces at our Ft. Worth orthodontist office, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846.