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Preventing Tooth Decay During Orthodontic Treatment


Posted on 9/19/2019 by Florida Smiles Dental
woman smilingOur Miami Beach FL dentist explains that tooth decay is certainly not exclusive to those with braces, but orthodontic appliances can heighten your risk. Tooth decay occurs because of food and bacteria not adequately being removed from the mouth. Plaque, a clear, sticky substance that feeds off sugars from foods, thrives when it is not properly brushed away. Plaque can especially build up behind the brackets and wires of braces and create acids that wear away at your enamel.

When your braces are removed, you might find that your smile is straighter but possibly stained or damaged if you didn’t take steps to prevent tooth decay. Our top-rated Miami Beach dentist recommends the following tips for preventing tooth decay and ensuring a clean smile after your orthodontic treatment!

#1 – AVOID FOODS THAT ARE NOT BRACES-FRIENDLY


Sticky, sweet foods are not allies to your optimal oral hygiene when wearing braces. Sticky foods loaded with sugar are going to linger behind and between crevices in your braces. Sugars in the mouth feed plaque and allow it to grow, too. Cleaning your braces properly can be challenging, so our dentist in Miami Beach suggests avoiding sticky treats to make the task easier.

#2 – MINIMIZE CONSUMPTION OF SUGARY AND ACIDIC DRINKS


Even if a beverage can’t get “stuck” in your braces, the high sugar and/or acid content of a drink can leave a residue in your mouth for plaque to thrive on. Sodas, fruit juices, energy drinks, sugary coffee drinks, and sports drinks are examples of beverages our dentist in Miami Beach FL suggests you avoid. If you do drink these, consider using a straw to minimize contact with the teeth, and rinse your mouth with water afterward. Especially avoid drinking these after brushing your teeth before bed at night. Prolonged exposure to sugar overnight can have negative effects on your oral hygiene whether or not you have braces!

#3 – BRUSH AFTER EVERY MEAL (OR AT LEAST TWICE DAILY)


Inevitably, you may forget to pack a toothbrush or be away from a sink between meals, but do your best to keep up with brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. The less amount of time food is granted to sit in your mouth, the less bacterial buildup there will be. White spots are often present on teeth after braces are removed because acids from bacteria had the opportunity to destroy and discolor the enamel. Don’t give bacteria the chance! Brush often and consult our 5-star Miami Beach dentist if you are concerned about proper cleaning techniques.

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Florida Smiles Dental - Dr. Peter Scerbo, 255 SE 14th St. #1a, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 ~ 754-354-0363 ~ floridasmilesdental.com ~ 6/24/2022 ~ Tags: dentist Fort Lauderdale FL ~