Oral health care isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s also the key to preventing common issues such as demineralization, tartar, and gingivitis. Because thorough oral hygiene can prove more challenging with braces, those who wear them are typically more prone to experience problems than those who do not. These issues can be distressing on their own, but when left untreated, they can develop into severe conditions. Below, a licensed orthodontist from Cumberland Orthodontics in Somerset, KY, discusses some common problems you may encounter with braces—as well as how you can prevent them.
Common Problems Caused by Braces
Demineralization occurs when bacteria in the mouth comes in contact with food left on the teeth, creating acid. This acid strips teeth of phosphate and calcium, resulting in decalcification—the chalky white squares that sometimes remain where metal brackets once were. Though the braces themselves are not to blame, those with braces are more prone to this type of staining due to the brackets’ ability to trap food. Patients can help prevent demineralization by flossing daily, brushing after every meal, and cutting back on their soda intake.
Gingivitis—an early stage of gum disease—occurs when tissues around the teeth become inflamed due to excessive plaque buildup. Symptoms of gingivitis may include swelling, redness, tenderness, and even bleeding. Although the condition is reversible, it should never be ignored. The presence of gingivitis may also increase the amount of time patients need to spend in braces.
Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, is most often the result of medical issues, the consumption of certain foods, smoking, or poor oral hygiene. However, should bad breath become apparent in the weeks and months after getting braces, poor oral hygiene is almost certainly the culprit. This is most often due to leftover food particles that get stuck between teeth and brackets.
Metal braces are riddled with food particle hiding spots. As such, the daily oral health habits you used prior to braces may no longer be sufficient. Orthodontic treatment specialists recommend brushing after every snack and meal, and rinsing with mouthwash or water if you are unable to brush.
Whether you’re considering adult braces, a retainer, or Invisalign®, you can depend on the experts at Cumberland Orthodontics for the care you need to enjoy the straight, healthy, beautiful smile you’ve been dreaming of. Visit the website or call the office directly at (606) 679-8436 to schedule your complimentary exam.