Apart from a better smile and bite, orthodontic treatment can also improve your ability to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Crooked teeth can trap food particles and plaque, increasing the chance for tooth decay and gum disease.

Have a look in the mirror at your new braces. As you will see, the brackets and wires have many nooks and crannies for food particles and plaque to become trapped in. When cleaning your mouth, you should pay special attention not only to your teeth and gums, but also to the brackets and wires.

Permanent damage to tooth enamel can occur if the teeth and brackets are not kept clean. Areas on the enamel surface will begin to decalcify leaving unsightly white marks. You may also develop gingivitis (gum disease) which is inflamed, bleeding gums.

How do I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

Here are some simple steps for keeping your teeth and braces in great shape:

Can I still floss with braces?

You can still floss with braces to remove food and plaque from the spaces between your teeth. Specially designed flosses are available that are ideal for braces.

How do I avoid damaging my braces?

The best way to avoid damaging your braces are:

Remember that damaged braces mean extra appointments, inconvenience and extended treatment time. If you do break your braces, be sure to make an appointment immediately. Broken braces will not correct your teeth.

Should I still visit my dentist while I'm wearing my braces?

It is important to visit your general dentist for regular checkups and routine cleans while you are wearing your braces.

By practicing good oral hygiene, watching your diet and following the advice of your dentist, you can be assured that your orthodontic treatment will be as successful as possible. And once your braces are off, you can look forward to showing off your new smile!

Source: Colgate Oral Care Brochure

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