Orthodontic treatment typically lasts over a year, so it’s important for patients to remain vigilant about avoiding tooth decay!
If you or your child is wearing braces or Line-M-Up™, then you know how complex the teeth straightening process can be. Even with our cutting-edge industry technology, most patients still undergo orthodontic treatment journeys that last over a year.
The typical duration of treatment is a huge reason why patients have to be extra vigilant about their oral health, and our team is always here to help you prevent potential tooth decay throughout each step of your treatment process.
No one wants stained or decayed teeth on their big reveal day after months and months of wearing braces, and Dr. Karpac has helped us compile this list of tips to ensure that your smile is well-protected on a daily basis.
So, below are some helpful tips to avoid tooth decay during your orthodontic treatment journey!
Using an Interdental Brush & WaterPik
Regular toothbrushes don’t always cut it while you’re wearing braces or invisible aligners, and you’ll also need an interdental brush to efficiently clean the spaces in between and around your brackets.
Interdental brushes are shaped like Christmas trees, and they have very strong bristles that do a great job at eliminating food residue in between your teeth and braces.
It’s also recommended for braces patients to use a WaterPik, which utilizes high-pressure water pulses to achieve the same effect as traditional flossing. It’s no secret how flossing is more difficult with braces, and using a WaterPik makes it easier for braces patients to get to those hard-to-reach places—which reduces the overall likelihood of plaque development and subsequent tooth decay!
Brushing After Each Meal
Braces often block food particles from escaping your teeth in a natural way while eating, which is why it’s crucial for orthodontic patients to floss and brush after each meal.
The less time food particles rest in between and around your teeth, the less likely you’ll become susceptible to dental issues like tooth decay. Although this may be seen as an inconvenience for some patients, it’s important to trust when it comes to just how far this hygiene step goes toward your treatment’s end results!
You’re still not done after thoroughly flossing and brushing your teeth, because it’s still very likely that you’ll have some food particles left behind on your braces and in between your teeth.
This is where fluoride mouth rinses come in to really support orthodontic patients, because using mouthwash will fully get rid of any excessive food particles after meals and before bed.
Even if you don’t have mouth rinse available to you after eating, you should at the very least rinse your mouth with water. After all, water is much better than nothing!
Avoiding Harmful Sweets
When it comes to avoiding harmful health issues like tooth decay, your best strategy will be to prevent these symptoms from ever occurring in the first place.
Sugary foods can be especially harmful to orthodontic patients, and particularly braces patients. If you can abstain from these types of decay-causing snacks from the beginning of your orthodontic treatment journey, you’ll put yourself at a huge advantage for avoiding dental issues throughout the entire process.
Although it’s safe to treat yourself every now and again, braces patients need to be extra careful about indulging in sweets!
Getting Regular Checkups With Dr. Karpac & Your Dentist
The good news is that every patient comes into our offices on a consistent basis during their treatment so Dr. Karpac can check to see how things are progressing, and part of these checkup appointments is oriented around verifying a patient’s oral health as well. So we’ll let you know when we notice tooth decay warning signs, and we’ll also give you the help that you need to quickly turn things around.
But one thing that a lot of orthodontic patients and parents forget about is that it’s also important to see your family dentist while you’re undergoing the treatment process as well. Although your dentist checkups should be less frequent than your visits to Dr. Karpac, these appointments are still very important for guaranteeing oral health progress while wearing braces or Line-M-Up™.
Reach Out To Us When You Have Questions/Concerns About Tooth Decay During Your Orthodontic Treatment!
JK Orthodontics has supported thousands of orthodontic patients throughout the Columbus metro area, and Dr. Karpac is an industry-renowned specialist who’ll guide you through the ups and downs of you or your child’s journey.
If you’re noticing any signs of cavities or tooth decay during your treatment, it’ll be crucial that you reach out to us right away for a checkup appointment.
Feel free to reach out to us online or call us at 614-766-0330 (Dublin office) or 614-471-6355 (Gahanna office) to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Karpac today!