If you or your child are receiving orthodontic treatment, consider this. You can develop cavities and gum disease if you neglect daily oral hygiene and consume a sugary diet. At Wermerson Orthodontics in Sioux Falls, SD, your orthodontist is Dr. Chris Wermerson. He and his team want you to have a straight smile which is vibrant and healthy too.
What causes tooth decay and gum disease?
Germs do--specifically, Strep bacteria. They do their work quickly as they grow in the food residues caught in and between teeth and in your case, around brackets and archwires as well.
In fact, the National Institutes of Health state that bacteria-filled plaque starts to collect on dental surfaces within 20 minutes of eating. Then, the germs secrete acids, and it's that chemical that leads to decay and periodontal problems.
If you wear braces...
Brackets, ligatures, archwires, bonded-on retainers, and other appliances add extra surface area to your teeth--in effect, places where plaque and its hard counterpart, tartar, collect easily.
Accordingly, your orthodontist at Wermerson Orthodontics in Sioux Falls, SD, will show you ways to best care for your teeth and gums as you progress through your treatment plan. Also, continue to see your family dentist and hygienist for a professional cleaning and exam every six months.
Further, follow these tips to keep your mouth as healthy as possible:
- Brush twice a day with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. Angle the bristles in toward the margins of your brackets, and take extra care at the gum line. Be thorough but gentle.
- Floss once a day. Interproximal brushes work well to remove food particles hidden underneath braces and between teeth. Floss threaders do not shred and are really useful for hard to reach places.
- Consider using a water flosser, such as a WaterPik.
- Use a plaque-reducing and/or fluoride rinse as directed by your orthodontist.
- Stay away from sugary drinks, sticky candies, and other high-carb choices.
- Drink water to rinse off your teeth and gums, and stay hydrated. Water increases your saliva which combats bacteria and whitens your teeth.
Keep that great smile
And, keep it healthy. At Wermerson Orthodontics in Sioux Falls, SD, Dr. Chris Wermerson and his team are happy to show you how. If you have questions about tooth decay, gum disease, and braces, call your orthodontist at one of our two locations: South Cliff Avenue or West 26th Street. Phone (605) 274-0555.