How To Prevent Tooth Decay When You Have Braces

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One thing that your orthodontist might have warned you about when you first got braces is your increased risk of tooth decay. Tooth decay always has the potential to be a problem, but you can be even more prone to it when you have braces. These tips will help you keep your teeth healthy and decay-free during the time you're wearing your braces.

Be Extra Careful about What You Eat

What you eat while you're wearing your braces is important. For one thing, as your orthodontist might have already told you, eating sticky or overly hard foods can damage your braces. You also have to worry about eating too many sweets or other foods that can damage your teeth, since it's harder for you to clean away any sugar and food debris when there are brackets in the way.

Brush Your Teeth More Often

Whether you have braces or not, brushing your teeth a couple of times a day is important. It becomes even more important when you're wearing braces. If at all possible, you'll want to brush your teeth each time that you eat and every time that you drink something that isn't water. This helps get rid of sugars and bacteria that may be left behind from your meals and beverages and that could contribute to tooth decay.

When in Doubt, Rinse Your Mouth Out

If you aren't able to brush your teeth after each meal, or if you have recently brushed your teeth but still aren't sure if they are clean, don't hesitate to rinse your mouth out. Plain water works for this, but mouthwash works even better. As with brushing your teeth more often, this helps get rid of sugars and bacteria and helps protect your teeth.

Use a Water Flosser

Regular floss works well for most people. If you're wearing braces, though, trying to use regular floss is a nightmare. Investing in a water flosser might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it's what you'll need to do if you want to thoroughly clean the areas between your teeth and around your brackets and bands to get rid of food particles and germs that could cause tooth decay.

Having braces can help you make positive changes to your smile, but it does put you at an added risk of certain things, like tooth decay. If you're focused on taking good care of your teeth and braces, though, you can help prevent this.