During orthodontic treatment, the patient is considered at risk regardless of any other dental health issues that may be present at the time. This is because orthodontic treatment works on the basis of keeping the periodontium in a constant state of inflammation. This means that the mouth is less protected than usual, but there is another factor that makes orthodontic treatment a particularly vulnerable time. During orthodontic treatment, there are metal brackets adhered to the teeth, meaning that it is very difficult to clean the teeth, and some tooth surfaces will be completely off limits until after the braces come off. Here are some of the complications that can come around from orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic treatment and tooth decay
The main problem you might be facing is tooth decay. Since certain tooth surfaces are completely covered with metal brackets, you cannot access them, and they might start to decay. Food detritus will get caught in the braces, and between the teeth and the braces. The extra nooks and crannies that come about from your wearing braces will give extra space for the food detritus to get caught in. This means that bacteria can proliferate freely, resulting in increased rates of tooth decay.
Gum disease and dental braces
Because the gums are in a constant state of inflammation, they are less able to fight off the bacteria that are present in the mouth. This leads to a much higher chance of developing gingivitis, periodontitis, and other gum diseases.
Demineralisation during your orthodontic treatment
The metal brackets of traditional orthodontic braces leach minerals from your tooth enamel, resulting in nasty white splotches on your teeth when the braces come off. These demineralised zones are much more prone to decay, as the enamel is much thinner here, and the bacteria have an easier time living on it.
The most important thing is to protect yourself, and spend greater care on your daily oral hygiene routine. Here is a list of helpful tips you can do to avoid tooth decay while in braces:
Rinse often! By rinsing your mouth out after every meal, you make sure that the bacterial life is flushed out from the mouth.
Use mouthwash. This way, the food detritus and the bacteria proliferating on it will be destroyed, as the mouthwash can get everywhere, and reach everywhere.
Flossing will be mostly impossible, so use an interdental toothbrush to clean your tooth gaps and the nooks and crannies.
Make sure you brush your teeth 3 times a day.
Avoid eating the sticky, chewy and sugary foods that are off limits. For a list of all of the foods that are not recommended during orthodontic treatment, ask your orthodontist, if they haven’t already given you one.
An orthodontic treatment is very important not only for a beautiful smile, but also for your health in general. If we have decided to undergo an orthodontic treatment, we should always make sure to choose a professional, caring orthodontist and always ask for their advice on oral healthcare during the treatment, which will help us avoid the above mentioned problems.