4450 Walton Blvd., Waterford, MI 48329

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Can Braces Create Oral Health Problems?


As a comprehensive orthodontic office, our entire Waterford team is dedicated to getting you amazing results from any orthodontic treatment you desire. Whether you want a short-term solution for a single crooked tooth or are looking for a total package we're able to accommodate your needs AND get you the smile you've always wanted.

But what about the health consequences of braces? We all know they can be a hassle to deal with, even if just worn for six months. Does part of that hassle include the potential for oral health problems? Anyone who's worn braces can tell you they're difficult to keep clean, which in turn makes good oral health a lot harder!

Braces: What's So Complicated?

Braces, whether clear ceramic ones or standard metal brackets and wires, change a lot about your mouth. Your food choices are changed, you have to take care of your teeth differently, and every day cleaning routines just aren't enough.

There are quite a few ways that your oral health can suffer due to wearing braces, but don't get too worried yet. The proper care and preventive measures will easily eliminate any potential problems that may arise.

Chalky White Spots: The Start Of A Cavity

It's not uncommon for patients to get their braces off and have a small white outline around where the bracket was cemented. Those white spots are caused by demineralization, or the loss of enamel caused by oral bacteria. It's hard to keep brackets clean, and when they get too caked in plaque they're a constant threat to the health of your teeth.

Acids that oral bacteria produce slowly erode your teeth, and as they get past the enamel will start to change from white to brown, eventually becoming a small black pit of bacteria and decayed tissue. That's why it's super important to keep those braces clean you don't want your newly aligned smile to be marred by demineralization!

Gingivitis: The Orthodontic Patient's Bane

We know how hard it can be to floss when you have braces. Those wires make it practically impossible to thread the floss through your teeth! It can be done, but it's not easy. That doesn't mean you can afford to skip on your flossing, though: it only takes 24 hours for oral bacteria to start irritating your gums!

Once your gums are irritated by oral bacteria it's easy for them to become inflamed and infected. Then you're looking at gingivitis: the beginning of gum disease. If left untreated it can spread from tooth to tooth, eventually causing gum recession, infection, and even tooth loss.

Flossing is incredibly important when you have braces! Those spaces between your teeth are some of the most sensitive in your whole mouth, so make sure you don't ignore them. Just because you can't see any potential infection doesn't mean it isn't there!

Maintaining Your Oral Health While Wearing Braces

Brushing and flossing are fundamentals, but that simply doesn't answer the question of how do I do it effectively when wearing braces? There are some additional tools you might need to make your oral care routine effective during your orthodontic sequence, such as:

  • A sulcabrush, which is a small headed toothbrush great for getting in between your braces wire and teeth. It's also ideal for scrubbing the sides of the brackets.
  • Interdental brushes, which look like small pipecleaners, are a great alternative to flossing. They're also ideal for getting into those tiny spaces that a sulcabrush can't reach.
  • Super floss is a thick, yarn-like floss that can be used to clean between brackets or between teeth that still have gaps.
  • Threaded flossers are great for cleaning between your teeth, and they're often thin enough to slip in there without getting stuck between the wire and your teeth.

Part of your orthodontic sequence is regular dental visits, of course, so don't worry about getting the professional care you need. We'll be on top of your oral health as long as you're wearing braces!

Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Answers

The only way to be sure you get the oral health care you need is to ask our team at The Waterford Dentist. When you're wearing braces it's essential that you care for your teeth in the right way, and we want to do everything possible to be sure that happens.

If you want to get braces, find out more about braces hygiene, or just have general dental questions give us a call at 248-257-5394. You can also save time by requesting an appointment online. We look forward to helping you!