3 Tips For Maintaining Optimal Oral Health While You Have Braces

Posted on: 20 January 2015

Straight white teeth are the building blocks for a winning smile. When your teeth are crooked, it can be hard to be proud of your smile. Boost your confidence and enjoy the benefits of straight teeth by talking to your dentist about your options for retainers and braces. Braces effectively straighten crooked teeth and can also be used in conjunction with headgear to help correct misaligned jaw conditions, such as an overbite. While your braces are helping to straighten your teeth, keeping your teeth and gums clean is highly important. Here are three tips for maintaining optimal oral health while you have braces.

Use oral irrigation to keep your gums healthy.

When you have braces, it can be very hard to get food particles out from between your brackets in order to reach your teeth and gums effectively with floss. A great alternative to flossing is oral irrigation. Use a water pick to stream a gentle spray of water in order to remove food particles from your teeth and gums. You effectively reduce your incidence of plaque and tooth decay and do not have to maneuver around your braces with floss when you decide to use oral irrigation. Consult with your dentist to make sure this is the right choice for you.

Drink tooth staining beverages through a straw.

A very real concern is keeping your teeth bright and white when you have braces. Beverages such as coffee and soda can stain your teeth, creating yellow and brown discoloration. You should moderate your intake of these kinds of sugary and acidic beverages as much as possible. When you do decide to indulge, you should take precautions by drinking these beverages through a straw. Do not allow the drink to come into contact with your teeth. Let it hit your tongue and then swallow it immediately. After your braces come off, you can look into cosmetic dentistry options for whitening your smile and evening up any discoloration left behind where the braces protected your teeth against these drinks.

Utilize fluoride to reduce your risk of cavities.

When it comes to reducing your risk of cavities, fluoride is your best friend. Make sure that you continue to brush your teeth twice a day and use toothpaste with fluoride. You can also use fluoridated mouthwash to not only freshen your breath, but also protect your teeth from harmful bacteria. If possible, you should also try to drink water that is enriched with fluoride. Most drinking water already has fluoride added to it; if your tap water is not enriched with fluoride, then you can buy it bottled.