Regular Dental Visits While Wearing Braces
Many patients who wear braces think that seeing an orthodontist regularly for adjustments eliminates the need for regular dental visits. While it is true that your orthodontist can spot developing problems with your teeth and gums, his or her job is to straighten your teeth, not check for cavities and periodontal disease. A checkup and professional cleaning from your Kansas City dentist every six months is vitally important, especially for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, as the brackets and wires of braces present new hiding places for food debris and plaque to collect. At your checkup, Dr. Meilink’s hygienist will thoroughly remove plaque and tartar from your teeth to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. We may also recommend a professional fluoride treatment to provide added protection against developing cavities.
Proper Oral Hygiene at Home
In addition to regular dental visits, diligent oral care at home is a key factor in maintaining healthy teeth and gums while wearing braces. You should brush your teeth after every meal with fluoride toothpaste, holding your brush at a 45-degree angle to reach the spaces between your brackets and archwires. Pay special attention to the gum line, as plaque can collect there and lead to periodontal disease. Flossing is equally important and should be done at least once a day, even though it may be a challenge with braces. You can either manually thread the floss under the archwires or use a floss threader. Once you get the hang of flossing with braces, this vital step in your oral hygiene routine will become second nature.
Healthy Diet for Healthy Teeth
Maintaining a balanced diet is important not only for your body, but also for your oral health. Avoid or limit sugary or acidic foods and drinks, as they can damage your tooth enamel and make you more susceptible to developing cavities. Dark beverages, such as coffee and tea, can stain your teeth, which will become very obvious when your braces are removed and reveal lighter spots where your brackets once were. You must also watch out for foods that are hard or sticky, as they may damage or loosen your appliances.
Do You Need Orthodontic Care?
Find out if orthodontic care can improve your oral health, your bite’s function, and your smile’s appearance by scheduling an appointment. Call Dental Smilemakers at 816-436-8949. Located in Kansas City, MO, we serve the residents of Gladstone, Smithville, Tiffany Springs, Parkville, Liberty, and all surrounding Northland communities. We also service the North Kansas City, Parkhill, Smithville, Platte City, and Liberty school districts.