The start of September means the start of school for most kids, even those going to college. Our recommendations this month apply to working adults with braces as well. Keeping your braces clean while in school and at work poses some challenges. Some of the risks associated with not keeping your teeth clean are:
- An infection of the gums caused by buildup of plaque between and on the teeth.
- Staining: Decalcification is a white stain that cannot be removed once it has occurred. This can leave the patient with the “window effect” once the braces are removed. The staining occurs around the brackets, so once your braces are removed you will have a lifetime stain that shows where the brackets once were.
Below are some examples of what you want to avoid:
- Make sure to brush after every meal, including snacks. Brush “2 teeth at a time, for 2 minutes”, as we reviewed at the start of your treatment.
- Flossing plays a very important role in keeping your gums healthy; make sure to floss between every tooth and bracket after every meal, even snacks.
- Avoid foods and drinks with a lot of sugar; if you do enjoy a sweet snack make sure to rinse out after, even if it is just with water. Don’t forget, nothing hard or sticky!
- Make sure to bring all of your cleaning supplies with you to school, if you would like a second set of tools just ask your orthodontist. The school nurse may also have supplies for cleaning or wax for irritations, be sure to ask if you are in need of any of these supplies.
Below is a photo of orthodontic school supplies you should have with you:
(a) Keeping your Teeth Clean: A ‘Must’ During Orthodontic Treatment. AAO pamphlet, 2010. Print.