Healthy Habits with Inspire: Why Poor Oral Hygiene with Braces is Such a Bummer

May 30, 2023 | Braces

small kid using an orange toothbrush to clean his teeth and bracesGood oral hygiene is essential all year long – it’s the not-so-secret solution for keeping teeth healthy and smiles bright!

But did you know it’s even more important to maintain good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment? Whether you have braces or Invisalign, brushing and flossing are vital to keeping your gums clean and preventing harmful bacteria growth during ortho care.

Wondering why? Don’t worry – we’re going to break it down for you. Here are three BIG problems patients wearing braces can encounter without proper oral hygiene.

Getting All the Nooks and Crannies at Every Treatment Phase

Orthodontic treatment is a significant investment in oral health and appearance but also requires maintaining good dental hygiene. Like any fixed appliances, braces and clear aligners make dental care more challenging (that’s why we have interdental toothbrushes and floss threaders), but neglecting your oral health can lead to various issues.

When wearing braces, brushing your teeth should be done when you wake up, after every meal, and before bed. Flossing is also essential; you should floss those tight spaces at least once daily. This extra effort pays off – after all, without regular brushing and flossing, you’ll face longer treatment time, damaged braces, halitosis, and even tooth enamel decay!

Want Better Breath? Grab Your Toothbrush!

One of the worst side effects of poor oral hygiene is bad breath, also called halitosis. When you have a quick snack or meal, particles from sticky foods and sugary foods get trapped in your mouth around the gum line, brackets, wires, and between teeth. Without proper care, bacteria and plaque build-up on teeth will start making your mouth smell…not-so-good.

Good oral hygiene is the number one way to prevent bad breath with or without braces.

To keep bad breath at bay, brush and floss regularly, and consider using a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from the surface of your tongue.

Watch Out for Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

toothbrushes sitting in bathroom on decorative logBrushing braces is more challenging than just brushing your gums and teeth normally. But with all those extra surfaces and tight spaces, braces also create more opportunities for food particles to become trapped. And what happens when you don’t brush your teeth and remove plaque from your mouth? It leads to significant issues like cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis!

To minimize the additional risk of tooth decay and gum disease while transforming your smile, be diligent about your oral hygiene routine. Hard foods, soft drinks, and snacks should be followed with a quick brush and rinse to protect your teeth and braces.

In addition to brushing and flossing, consider using a water flosser or interdental brush to help clean hard-to-reach areas around your braces.

Your Toothbrush and Dental Floss Helps Shorten Treatment Time

Straightening teeth and correcting bite problems can take months or years! We want to do everything possible to make your orthodontic care fast and simple. Good hygiene is the first step.

When you don’t clean your teeth and braces properly, food particles feed the bacteria in your mouth, and plaque builds up. Not only can this hurt your smile – it can also weaken the wires and brackets on your braces and damage them. When your braces don’t work as well, it means spending more time (and money) with your orthodontist.

Taking Care of Your Smile is Simple

To avoid these issues, brush your teeth at least twice a day using a brush with soft toothbrush bristles (and fluoride toothpaste). Give some extra TLC to the areas around brackets and wires, as these are prime real estate opportunities for plaque buildup. Flossing daily is also essential to remove food particles and plaque stuck between your teeth. We know that this can be a pain, but tools like a floss threader or interdental brushes can make this task much more manageable.

Get Inspired to Build Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits!

Maintaining good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment is crucial for achieving the best possible results and avoiding complications. Not only will you set yourself up for success during your orthodontic care, but you’ll also be able to build a foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits. Creating a beautiful smile takes more than braces – it also takes excellent oral hygiene from start to finish!