Posted on 8/20/2019 by Dr. Seth Senestraro
|If you got kids' braces in 2016, then 2017 offers you the chance to make the most of your orthodontic treatment. A great looking smile can provide a number of wonderful health and cosmetic benefits, but only if you practice quality oral hygiene while wearing your braces. If you ignore your oral health during treatment, you could develop a number of serious dental problems that could complicate your treatment or impact the appearance of your smile for a lifetime.
Here are a few common oral health problems that those with kids' braces need to prevent.
Demineralization is a serious oral problem that develops when food left on the surface of our teeth comes into contact with plaque. This interaction causes a highly corrosive acid to develop. This acid leaches phosphate and calcium from teeth, causing decalcification to occur. This process causes white scars to develop on the surface of tooth enamel that look like chalk white squares that outline the space where braces once sat on your teeth. These spots can be very sensitive and cause a lot of discomfort when brushing, eating, or drinking. Patients with braces are far more susceptible to decalcification because their braces act as an excellent trap for food particles. Unfortunately, stains caused by demineralization are often permanent and can lead to the development of cavities. You can lower your risk of staining by brushing after every meal, flossing daily, can cutting back on soda consumption.
Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, develops when the soft tissues around your teeth becomes inflamed. Patients who suffer from this disease may experience tenderness, bleeding, swelling, or redness of their gums. Fortunately, gingivitis is reversible, but that doesn't mean you can ignore the disease should it develop. It can also increase the amount of time you'll need to wear your kids' braces.
Tooth sensitivity can develop when the underlying layer of your teeth becomes exposed due to a receding gum line. When your gums pull away from the base of your teeth, the delicate roots of your teeth become exposed. This exposure allows stimuli, such as cold and hot foods and drinks, to irritate the nerve in a tooth, causing serious discomfort. With sensitivity, you may feel pain when consuming sweet, hot, or cold items, or even when just breathing in cold air. It is normal for your teeth to feel a little sensitive following each adjustment of your braces, but be sure to let Dr. Senestraro know if you suffer from chronic discomfort.
While anyone can develop tooth sensitivity, orthodontic patients can be especially susceptible to the condition. That's because your braces make it difficult to properly clean along the gum line and on the surface of your teeth. Poor oral care can lead to an irritated or receding gum line. To prevent tooth sensitivity, make sure to brush thoroughly after every meal and to floss daily.
Bad breath, a condition also known as halitosis, typically is the result of poor oral hygiene, certain medical problems, or simply the habit of eating foul smelling foods. However, bad breath that develops only after getting braces is almost definitely caused by poor oral hygiene. Stinky bacteria feed on the food particles that remain in the mouth after eating, and these bacteria causes odor. So every little bit of food that gets stuck under the wires and brackets of your braces will contribute to making your breath smell worse overall. Once again, preventing bad breath means making a commitment to brushing and flossing daily.