This is true – it can be much easier to get demineralisation (stage one of cavity formation – looks like white marks on your teeth) or cavities when you have braces on. This is because braces are retentive – plaque and food stick to the braces and tooth brush and flossing is more difficult. So, what should you do?
At a minimum, we recommend tooth brushing 3 times per day and flossing every night. Technique is crucial. When brushing your teeth, you want to brush on top of your braces and then below your braces separately. Most of the plaque develops between your gums and your braces – so really work on those areas. Use the Christmas tree shaped brush “interdental brush” to brush under your wire.
We cannot neglect the role of diet when it comes to the development of decay. Minimising sweet, sugary and acidic foods will reduce the risk of dental cavities. Have these foods on special occasions only and remember to clean your teeth afterwards!
If you are still having trouble maintaining an adequate oral hygiene, we may recommend different types of tooth paste, other products to help remineralise your teeth or to see your dentist more regularly (3 or 4 monthly rather than 6 monthly) for a clean and professional fluoride application.
Ronald is one of Peninsula Orthodontic’s oral health therapist.