If you have braces or are going to get them soon, you must remember that braces require special attention. Food and plaque can get stuck in your braces just like they can get stuck between teeth. When this debris is not removed from the teeth, a patient may develop white spots that will be more visible once the braces are removed. These white spots are caused by the buildup of plaque, which is a process known as decalcification. We can explain the whole process to you if you come in for a consultation at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts.

To prevent decalcification from occurring, it is important to brush regularly. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but make sure to get around the brace brackets and the wires. Your dentist may recommend a soft bristled electronic toothbrush to assist in the removal of plaque.

Since brushing doesn’t always remove everything, you should use a good mouthwash as well. This will kill any bacteria you may have missed.

Flossing is also important. While braces do make the process difficult, flossing is still necessary. However, there are alternatives for you to choose from.  Your dentist might recommend floss picks, which are those plastic sticks with a little piece of floss at the tip, a water flosser, or interdental brushes. Interdental brushes have bristles that form a cone-shape when attached to a metal wire. The metal wire is then placed into a handle by the user. They make it easier to get to those hard to reach places.

When a patient gets braces, he/she is also told to avoid certain foods. This is to prevent the braces from getting damaged and to prevent food from getting stuck. As a general rule, sticky foods, foods that are hard to clean off braces, and hard foods should be avoided. Some examples of foods patients with braces should avoid are popcorn, caramel, corn on the cob, and biting directly into an apple or uncooked carrots.

For those with questions, call us at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts. Dr. Makrauer and Dr. Miller will be able to give you additional advice on ways to keep braces clean.