3 Ways to Avoid Cavities While Wearing Braces

Orthodontist Orange County, CA

Cavities & Braces

You likely think that braces only improve your appearance. However, orthodontic treatment is also vital for good oral health and hygiene. And while braces can undoubtedly give you a beautiful smile, your teeth must also stay healthy to look their best. Here are three tips to help make sure you not only end up with a straight smile and a well-aligned bite but a healthy one as well.

  1. Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene Habits

Although this may seem readily apparent, you would be surprised how many orthodontic patients neglect proper oral hygiene when wearing braces. When you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, you already spend a significant amount of time in the dental chair. With proper oral hygiene habits, you won’t have to sit in the chair again to have cavities fixed later on. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining good oral hygiene:

  • Use the right instruments: An electric toothbrush is extremely beneficial because it stays on for a pre-established time and provides more brush strokes per minute than manual brushing. Consequently, an electric toothbrush is practically guaranteed to do a better job when brushing your teeth. You can also use an oral irrigator, which is a convenient way to flush plaque and food particles out of hard-to-reach places.
  • Aim for improvement, not perfection: Flossing is difficult when wearing braces, but it’s still critical for preventing decay, especially in the areas between the teeth. Any amount of flossing is helpful. If you can’t manage to do it twice a day, then try to do it at least 3-4 times per week. Any amount of flossing can provide significant benefits. 
  • Minimize sugar intake: Cut down on sweet foods and beverages. Avoid snacking or grazing on sugary snacks during the day, as well. It’s helpful to remember this phrase: “Sip all day, get tooth decay.” Not to say that you can’t enjoy the occasional soda or add sugar to your coffee or tea. But, drink it within 15 minutes or so instead of sipping on it over an extended period of time.
  1. Use Mouthwash

Swish with an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day, after you brush and floss. It helps prevent cavities by killing the bacteria that remain on your teeth and lead to tooth decay.

  1. Continue Getting Routine Checkups

It’s crucial to get a checkup every six months, especially if you are wearing braces. Routine checkups can catch any potential cavities at the point where they are small and simpler to fix. People don’t usually feel pain from cavities until they’ve gotten larger. At that point, they probably need more extensive dental work to fix and eliminate the decay.

Braces can really pay off by providing a beautiful smile for the rest of your life. To find out more about treatment with braces or orthodontic devices, consider reaching out to an orthodontist from a clinic like John Redmond Orthodontics..