Orthodontic devices are a mixed blessing; braces especially so. You know that when they’re removed you’ll have a gorgeous smile, but until then it seems like an endless battle of sore gums and trapped food. It’s important to be vigilant about oral hygiene during this time.
Anyone with braces who has ever tried to eat a taco knows how easily food can get trapped in your orthodontic device. Brushing after meals will get rid of the big stuff, but the fact is that your braces inhibit the efficacy of your toothbrush. What you may not realize is that braces may prevent your mouth from closing normally, and a dry mouth is a hospitable environment for bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay. (Saliva neutralizes bacteria, but orthodontic can sometimes interfere–especially when you sleep).
Braces make flossing impossible. After you brush, try a special toothpick meant to work around braces. It’s usually a thin, flexible, plastic pick, with bristles on one end to reach all the places your toothbrush can’t. Using this daily will help stave off tooth decay during your orthodontic treatment. When the braces are gone you’ll have a beautiful (and healthy) smile!