Good Oral Hygiene: brushing & flossing teeth during braces…

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Have a look in the mirror at your new braces. As you see, the brackets and wires have many nooks and crannies that can trap food and plaque. This means your risk of tooth decay and gum problems may be higher while you are wearing braces.

You need to pay special attention to cleaning your teeth everyday and to your diet. Permanent damage to tooth enamel can occur if the teeth and brackets are not kept clean.

Areas on the enamel surface may begin to lose minerals (the early stage of tooth decay), leaving unsightly white spots. You may also develop inflamed, bleeding gums (gingivitis). Gingivitis and the early stages of tooth decay can be reversed by taking extra care with your cleaning and diet. If left untreated, they can lead to bigger problems that will require treatment and have life-long effects. While you are having orthodontic treatment, you need to continue to have regular check-ups with your family dental professional to ensure little problems don’t become big ones.

This patient below has significant decalcification or white spots on the upper teeth:

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This patient below has not only white spots, but also several cavities that must be filled by the dentist ASAP.

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So, keep those teeth clean while we straighten and align your bite.  You don’t want straight teeth that have been harmed by poor oral care.  We don’t see outcomes like this (images above) often, but they do occur (unfortunately!) from time to time.

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Author: Neal Jones

I have been practicing orthodontics since 12/08. My team and I work diligently to make many people smile throughout Southern Arizona.

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