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Oral care throughout orthodontic treatment

posted 16/01/2017

Risk of tooth decay and gum problems may be greater whilst you are wearing your braces so it’s important to pay special attention to cleaning your teeth carefully every day and keeping your braces, brackets and wires free from food.

Permanent damage to tooth enamel can occur if the teeth and brackets are not kept clean. Areas on the enamel may begin to lose minerals causing small white spots to appear or you could develop swollen, bleeding gums (gingivitis) if you don’t pay attention to your oral care whilst having orthodontic treatment.

But it’s definitely not all doom and gloom as you are on the road to having a seriously straight and beautiful set of teeth you can be proud of and there are many things you can do whilst wearing your braces to keep yourself on track.

• Continue to have regular check-ups throughout your orthodontic care to ensure little dental problems don’t become bigger problems.

• Remove your elastics (if you have them) before brushing.

• Use a fluoride toothpaste and spend approx. 10 seconds on each tooth, brushing in a circular motion both inside and outside the tooth.

• After brushing, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to help prevent cavities and white spots.

• You can develop a tooth-friendly diet – see below for food item ideas.

Low acid foods and drinks are much better for your teeth and during orthodontic treatment it is better to choose low-acid foods when you sit down to eat.

Low acid, tooth-friendly food and drinks include:-

Bananas, mangoes, melons, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, crackers, soups and pasta and milk and water.

High acid, less tooth-friendly food and drinks include:-

apples, cherries, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, pineapples, raspberries, tomatoes, pickles and soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices.

Other tips to keep your braces safe are:-

  • Avoid hard foods such as nuts or hard biscuits
  • Chop apples and carrots into small pieces rather than eating them whole
  • Avoid sticky foods such as toffees, caramels or fruit bars
  • No chewing gum and don’t chew ice!