Getting braces is a big step in anyone’s life, and along with it comes a lot of responsibility. It is up to the patient to make sure they are caring for their teeth and braces when Dr. Glaser isn’t there, but often times Westchester County patients neglect their important oral habits. This neglect can lead to many common problems such as gingivitis, demineralization, plaque, tartar, sensitivity, and bad breath. All of these problems can be prevented, but it is important to know what these problems exactly are and the preventative measures that should be taken.
Gum disease is a severe condition, but the first, more mild step before it is called gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when the tissues around the teeth become and flamed, and can bleed, become sore, tender or swell. Although this condition is curable it can extend the time the patient wears braces. Anyone can suffer from Gingivitis but braces wearers are extremely susceptible because braces make it harder to clean around the gum line. It is important to make sure you clean those hard to reach spots especially while wearing braces so this condition can be prevented.
Demineralization is not only unhealthy for your teeth but it also physically unappealing. This condition occurs when bacteria comes in contact with food to form acid and wears away the tooth creating decalcification or white scars. The white scar occurs where the braces once were and are permanent once developed. Braces act like a trap for food, so make sure you are brushing after every meal, flossing, and you can even cut back on soda.
Plaque is an extremely common problem in not only braces wearers but everyone else. Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that is a combination of saliva and food particles. When the patient does not make sure to properly clean their teeth plaque can harden forming tartar. Tartar can form quickly and acts as a trap for stains along the gum line, under the gums, and around braces or other orthodontic appliances. Once tartar has formed only a Yorktown dentist or hygienist can remove it, so make sure to brush teeth after every meal to clean plaque.
A receding gum line is the main cause of sensitivity, and that can be prevented by regular brushing and flossing. Under your gums are the roots of your teeth which are not protected by hard enamel. These roots contain tiny tubules which lead to the tooth’s nerve center. When eating hot, cold, or even sweet food the tubules stimulate the nerve in your tooth causing pain. Although it is common for Millwood patients to experience some sensitivity when first receiving braces, chronic sensitivity can be a problem.
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, and should be specially noted if developed only after getting braces. Bacteria feeds on food particles left in your mouth and produces an odor. Braces act as a trap for food, so oral hygiene habits used before getting braces may not be enough anymore. Brushing right after meals or vigorously rinsing your mouth can loosen up and remove these food particles. It is also important to note that bacteria and food can cling to removable orthodontics such as retainers or clear aligners, so be sure to remove these before eating.
There is a ton of information on all of these problems, but this shouldn’t scare you, it should make you more aware of your oral habits. Along with taking care of your teeth at home to prevent any of these complications, make sure you are visiting Glaser Orthodontics every six months to see how your teeth are doing. If you have any questions, please call Dr. Glaser at his Cortlandt Manor office.