There are many reasons to commit to orthodontic treatment, such as braces. Most importantly is the reason of oral health. When teeth are straight, there is less chance to develop gum disease and tooth decay. However, wearing braces can cause more of a challenge of keeping the teeth clean in the short term because food and debris can collect around the braces. Therefore, it is extra important to take good care during this more vulnerable time.
When teeth are straight, the gums fit snug around them. When they are crooked, they are more likely to have small gaps into which plaque can build up and get inflamed. It’s important to spend extra time cleaning the gumline during braces treatment. When teeth are shifting, the process can cause the gums to swell and become tender. A patient might then avoid proper care of these sore spots, allowing for buildup to happen or gum disease to go untreated.
Getting into good habits early is key. For example, it’s a good idea to keep a travel sized toothbrush at all times, as well as floss and a handy little mini brush (that looks sort of like pipe cleaner). If brushing and flossing is impossible at the time, forcibly swish water around your mouth after eating to dislodge any bits of food that may have taken up residence.
When you do get a chance, brush gently with a soft bristled brush in a circular motion around the teeth and along the gum line. Remember that it takes time to get around each and every bracket and to get underneath the wires and between the teeth. But believe us when we say the effort is worth it as the alternative is risking developing gum disease, which can have serious long-term consequences.
Braces are a wonderful invention and produce a beautiful end result — straight and healthy teeth. But braces are not a magic solution, they still require care. That’s why if you are considering getting braces, it’s extremely important that you understand the responsibility that goes along with them.
At South Surrey Smiles, we have a rewards program so that all patient can earn prizes when they take good care of their teeth and braces. At each appointment, we check the health of the teeth and gums to make sure everything is looking clean and healthy. Patients who are having trouble, we spend extra time teaching them how to care for their teeth and gums while wearing braces. Those who are doing a great job will benefit with prizes!
If you have any questions about what it’s like to get braces, book an appointment with us in our Surrey office. Our friendly team will be happy to help you on your way to the perfect smile you’ve always wanted.
Dr. Lesley Williams is a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics. She grew up in Victoria, BC with her parents and two sisters.
After being awarded her Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree in 1989, Dr. Williams then spent six years as a dentist in general practice before deciding that she wanted to further her education by undertaking three extra years of highly specialized training in orthodontics. With her Masters in Science (Orthodontics) degree under her belt, she went on to sit the Orthodontic Specialty Fellowship exams through the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. To date, her status as an active leader in the orthodontic profession means that she holds the following qualifications and positions:
- Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
- Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada
- Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics
- Examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the American Board of Orthodontics.
- Former president of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (representing 2900 orthodontists from the 4 western Canadian provinces and 8 western American states).
- Active member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists.