PREVENTING DECAY AROUND YOUR BRACES
Stout and Booth Ortho-Fayetteville NC
Both decay and gum problems are caused by bacterial plaque. If we could remove all the plaque perfectly each day, we would not have problems and would never have cavities. You need to make every effort to use the methods you have been shown to remove all the plaque from around your braces and off your teeth. Since it is impossible to remove all the plaque perfectly, we must have help from other methods of decay prevention, be sure to continue to see your dentist for your regular six-month checkups!
The Problems That Poor Oral Hygiene Can Cause
The white marks left on your teeth around your braces are called decalcification and these marks will remain on your teeth for life. The best way to avoid decalcification is not to let it develop at all.
2. Periodontal (gum) disease, caused by the buildup of plaque, occurs in 3 stages. In the first stage, plaque accumulation irritates the gums. Your gums may be red, puffy or swollen. They may bleed when you brush or floss. This infection is called gingivitis.
3. Over time, infection and inflammation in the gums can spread to the ligaments and bone that support the teeth. The gums start to pull away, forming gaps or pockets between your teeth allowing more plaque to accumulate. This disease is called periodontitis.
4. Pockets of bacteria can form and deepen beneath your gums, attacking and destroying the bone that anchors your teeth in place. This can cause healthy teeth to loosen or eventually fall out. This disease is called advanced periodontitis.
The importance of diet control during orthodontics cannot be overemphasized. A person who eats sweets on a regular basis between meals will very likely have unsightly spots on their teeth when their braces are removed. Since most orthodontic patients will eat snacks between meals daily, it is important to know what snacks are acceptable and have them available. We cannot make a complete list, so as a rule, if you know it contains lots of sugar and especially if it is sticky, it is not a good snack choice.
Fruits: apples (cut in pieces), peaches, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries
Veggies: carrots (cut in pieces), broccoli, celery, cucumbers, green peppers
Snacks: cheese, bologna, ham, pepperoni, sugar-free yogurt, unsweetened cereals, high fiber breads, rye crackers, peanut butter, sugar-free Jell-O, sugarless gum
Drinks: sugar-free soft drinks, juices, milk and water
We get fluoride at our regular dental checkups, in our drinking water, and in our toothpaste. Fluoride mouth rinses used daily are also very helpful in preventing decay.