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One aspect of having braces or undergoing any kind of orthodontic treatment always stays the same: your oral hygiene habits. Regardless of which type of braces you have, taking good care of your teeth is crucial to ensuring that your treatment is successful.
Brushing Your Teeth
Making sure you brush your teeth as directed by your orthodontist is one of the most important things you can do to make sure your treatment is successful. When you have braces, there are more places for bacteria and debris to hide and cause cavities to form.
Brushing your teeth often helps prevent some pretty serious problems, such as decalcification, gingivitis, and cavities. Your teeth will look much better after you get your braces off if you brush as directed, especially where decalcification typically occurs.
Decalcification is when enamel gets weak due to bacteria residing on the teeth. This occurs most often immediately around the brackets of braces, which is why your orthodontist should emphasize how to brush around your brackets.
Another simple way to prevent decalcification is to stay away from candy and sugary drinks – like soda, juice, and drinks made from powder and water – during your orthodontic treatment.
Flossing Your Teeth
Some people tend to think that flossing isn’t important if they brush their teeth, but this is far from the truth, especially as we get older. If you floss at least a few times a week, you can consider yourself someone who takes good care of your teeth and gums. If not, you may encounter any of the following problems in the future:
When you have braces, flossing becomes even more important. There are so many little spaces for bacteria to hide in, and if you eat or drink a lot of things containing sugar, your potential for cavities becomes greater.
The Best Regimen
The best way to take excellent care of your teeth is to floss, brush, and use mouthwash at least twice a day. Flossing first allows your toothbrush and toothpaste to access in between your teeth better, while mouthwash to top it all off serves as a way to disinfect your entire mouth.
If your gums are sensitive, using wax-coated floss can be helpful. If you find that mouthwash tends to burn your mouth, it’s a good idea to pick up some mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol.
You can also use home-made mouthwash, which you can easily make yourself. In a small mason jar, mix ½ a cup distilled or filtered water, 2 tsp baking soda, 2-3 drops of tea tree oil, and 2-3 drops of peppermint oil. You can find essential oils on Amazon. Shake well and rinse – it won’t burn your mouth at all. (Recipe from DIYNatural.)
Dr. Baker understands the importance of a smile you can share with confidence. Additionally, she wants you to feel confident with your decision for your journey to your best smile ever. Here are a few ways to get started: