Before you commit to getting braces or another kind of orthodontic appliance, it’s important to make sure your teeth are in tip top shape and cavity-free first.
Once your braces go on, things get a little more complicated in your mouth. Make things easy for yourself (and your dentist!) by committing to good dental hygiene to make sure that cavities don’t form while you’re wearing your braces.
Get checked for cavities
Cavities should never be ignored at any time but it’s particularly important to get them filled in before getting braces. The metal wires and brackets make it harder to navigate your mouth, both for you and your orthodontist, so if there is an issue, it’s much easier to take care of before the braces go on.
Ramp up your brushing
Braces make it much easier for food and bacteria to build up in your mouth because they love to hang around on and around your hardware. So you have to take extra special care of your teeth to make sure those bacteria don’t wreak havoc with your oral health.
Before braces, you probably stuck to brushing twice a day. With braces, you should increase that to brushing for about two minutes after every meal. A mouthrinse is also a good idea since it can flush away residue in areas that are hard for a toothbrush to reach.
Commit to flossing
Flossing gets tricker when braces are involved, but the good news is that there are special tools made specifically for flossing around braces. Floss at least once a day to make sure you’re removing all the little bits and pieces that can get stuck between your teeth. A WaterPik is also a great option that lets you clean between your teeth using a targeted stream of water.
See your dentist regularly
There are issues that can develop in your mouth that you can’t see. That’s why it’s important to keep seeing your dentist for your routine checkups, so that they can clean away plaque buildup and make sure that any dental problems, like potential cavities, are caught early before they develop into something more serious.