Did you know that your risk of tooth decay and gum problems may be higher while you are wearing braces?
Therefore, it is extremely important and highly recommended to have dental cleaning every 3 months while you undergo orthodontic treatment. This is to remove any plaque, tartar deposits and stain around the teeth and brackets.
It is very difficult to keep your teeth and braces 100% clean during orthodontic treatment, and more often than not, some plaque will remain after brushing and over a period of time this plaque will cause not only inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), but forms an acid which slowly demineralize the teeth, especially around the orthodontic brackets where most of the plaque tend to stick.
SEE ALSO: Why Should You Clean Your Tongue?
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 lifelong effects.
While you are having orthodontic treatment, you need to continue to have regular check-ups with your DENTIST to ensure little problems don’t become big ones.
What NOT to eat and do during orthodontic treatment
There are certain foods that can loosen, break or bend wires and bands when you are wearing braces.
- Avoid hard foods such as nuts and hard biscuits.
- Try not to eat meat from the bone (chicken wings, ribs) with your teeth as your brackets might catch or press against the hard bone and snap off! Rather, remove all meat with a knife before eating.
- Foods such as apples and carrots should be grated or chopped into small pieces before eating to reduce the stress on your braces.
- Popcorn could land you into trouble as well. Sometimes not all the kernels pop and you could end up biting into it with a resulting cracking sound!
- Avoid sticky foods such as caramels, toffees, muesli or fruit bars.
- No chewing gum!
- Habits such as nail biting, unnatural tongue thrusting, pencil chewing and nervous picking at your wires can also break braces. Be aware of these and make an effort to stop them.
You might think you are getting away with eating toffees or something hard and might be under the impression that nothing happened the last time you did but be aware that wires can bend. A bent wire will not get you a straight smile. A bent wire is weak and can break easily the next time you eat a piece of soft, chewy bread.
Remember that damaged braces mean extra appointments, inconvenience and extended treatment time. Broken braces are not correcting your teeth! If you do break your braces, be sure to make an appointment with your orthodontist immediately.