If you are lucky enough to have a straight smile thanks to braces you know how great they are. Or perhaps you’re a parent who is considering giving your child the lifelong gift of orthodontics. No matter the reason, there are some important safety concerns about orthodontic care that you can’t ignore!

At Panama City Smiles we’ve long been delivering amazing results with our orthodontic options, but there are always things we have to tell our patients to watch out for. Wearing braces can result in an amazing smile, but it can also result in serious damage to your teeth and gums. If you want to get through an orthodontic cycle without any problematic side effects then here’s what you need to watch out for.

All Those Tiny Spaces …

The surfaces of your teeth usually aren’t a problem when it comes to staying cavity-free. It’s the deep and tiny spots – the little tricky ones – that make it difficult to prevent tooth decay. When you’re wearing braces you add a lot of tiny spaces to your teeth, and guess what? They’re all on the surface around those brackets!

If you don’t practice exceptionally good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment it’s very easy to end up with cavities forming near the brackets or in any other place that is hard to clean with typical oral hygiene habits. Braces do a lot of good, but they can cause serious damage too.

Oral Hygiene: Even More Important With Braces!

We always tell our patients that they need to brush twice a day for at  least two minutes and floss daily as well. When it comes to wearing braces there’s no change to that routine, except for the addition of taking more care to get all the small nooks and crannies of your teeth and braces!

There are quite a few things you need to do to in order to keep your teeth in good condition when you’re wearing braces. Most aren’t hard, but they do add a few steps to your regular daily routine.

Brushing

You’re going to need to modify your brushing strategy a bit to get all those spots around your braces. We recommend actually increasing your regular brushing routine from twice a day to three times a day to be sure you aren’t letting any food particles or plaque stick around longer than you have to. The best way to do this is to brush after every meal.

There are specially designed toothbrushes that you can get for braces: called bi-level or “v trim” brushes, they’re tapered from the edge to the center to let you get to the tooth all while cleaning the wires and brackets at the same time. While these aren’t required they can make a big difference in your ability to brush with ease!

Flossing

It seems plain impossible with braces, doesn’t it? Unfortunately it’s still an important part of caring for your teeth, so you had better follow these tips so you don’t end up with serious tooth decay by the end of your treatment.

You have quite a few good options for flossing with braces. There are floss holders that will allow you to get a small piece between your teeth, there’s superfloss, a thick, yarn-like floss that’s perfect for pulling between your braces and tooth, and then there’s our personal pick for easy and effective: water flossing.

Water flossers are electric devices that you use to shoot a high-pressure jet of water between your teeth. They do a great job for patients with or without braces, and you can even use one to blast those dirty brackets as well! Some water flossers even come with special tips for orthodontic patients, making them even more effective.

Last But Not Least: Appointments

You’ll be coming to see us for adjustments while you’re wearing your braces, but that’s no reason to avoid a cleaning. You’ll need to make time for professional dental cleanings during your orthodontic treatment so that we can be absolutely sure there’s no risk of harm from stubborn oral bacteria.

If you’re wearing braces, or want to get braces for someone in your family, we’d love to help you make the best treatment choices for you and those you love! For more information about all the orthodontic solutions we offer and how we can make your treatment great simply call us today!

You can reach Panama City Smiles at (850) 588-0185 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!