Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. About 75% of orthodontists in Britain report an increase in adult patients seeking braces.
Whatever your age, once you’ve got a mouthful of metal, you’re going to have to take more care with your teeth. Whether you choose lingual braces, ceramic braces, or traditional metal ones, food can easily get stuck between the braces and your teeth. If left to its own devices, it can easily damage your teeth and cause dental caries and staining.
To stop this from happening, follow these four tips to help prevent tooth decay after braces.
1. Brush Your Teeth Daily
If you’ve already been following good dental hygiene habits, keep up the good work! Continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day. With braces, it is often a good idea to brush your teeth after every meal since the chance of something getting stuck in there is higher.
Rinse your mouth with water first to loosen up any particles. Then, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and make small circles to clean the teeth. Do this both upward and downward to clean on both sides of the braces.
2. Floss Your Teeth
You might be wondering how you can floss your teeth properly with the braces in the way. You simply use a floss threader to insert the floss in between the teeth on the other side of the braces. Your dentist will show you how to do it before you leave the office.
3. Choose the Right Foods
Unfortunately, you can’t eat whatever you please when you have braces. Peanut brittle, popcorn, nuts, hard or jellied sweets, and even pizza are off the menu. Eating this type of sticky food can lead you to be back in the orthodontist’s chair to repair your broken braces.
Stick with softer food. Also, avoid biting into foods, even softer ones like bananas. Instead, cut up your fruits and vegetables into bite-sized pieces so you can easily pop them in your mouth.
Anytime you eat anything with a lot of sugar, be sure to brush well afterwards to help keep plaque from forming, but wait 20 minutes after eating to give your teeth time to recover from the acid attack.
4. See the Orthodontist Regularly
Regular trips to the orthodontist will help keep your teeth in tiptop shape. They’ll notice any early indications of tooth decay symptoms and help you avoid more serious problems.
Additionally, the orthodontist will ensure that your braces are performing well. They may tighten the braces as your teeth move and make other small adjustments to facilitate your journey to straight teeth.
Avoid Tooth Decay After Braces with the Right Orthodontist
Of course, the orthodontist with whom you trust your teeth will teach you all about how to care for your teeth with braces. They’ll offer helpful tips and tricks for avoiding tooth decay after braces as well as make sure that your braces are performing well.
Ready to begin your journey to a straighter, more dazzling smile? Schedule your free consultation today to learn about your options
BDS FDSRCS MSc Morth
Faiza Lewis (nee Darugar) has been a Dentist for over 26 years and a Specialist Orthodontist for 17 years. She graduated from Birmingham Dental School in 1993 and from Guy’s Hospital in Orthodontics in 2002. She has had a variety of hospital jobs in maxillofacial surgery and working for the Wandsworth Community Dental Service before starting the 3 year Specialisation Programme in Orthodontics