Tips for Plaque Control During Orthodontics

Henderson NV DentistProper plaque removal is necessary for a healthy smile, but it is even more important when going through orthodontic treatment. Your Henderson NV dentist can educate you on how to keep your teeth clean throughout the course of treatment.

Plaque, the soft sticky substance that adheres to teeth, can cause tooth decay, periodontal disease and can even lead to tooth loss. Orthodontic appliances, such as braces, can harbor plaque bacteria even more so than normal.  Brushing and flossing becomes much more tedious and time-consuming when you are challenged with braces, and it’s easy to neglect your oral hygiene habits, but the lack of proper plaque control during this time can affect the progress of your treatment.

Braces cover a large portion of the teeth and can certainly get in the way of brushing.  This makes it hard to access all surfaces of the teeth, and plaque is often left in the hard-to-reach areas. As a result, the teeth become more prone to decay. It is not uncommon for one to have their braces removed only to find out they have several new cavities.

As it is more difficult to remove plaque with braces and other orthodontic appliances, the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease is also elevated.  With gingivitis, the gums become inflamed, red and tend to bleed easily. If it is not treated and reversed, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, a disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Gingival Hyperplasia is a condition that may be experienced when plaque is not properly removed. When this occurs, the gums become enlarged and inflamed to such a degree that they begin to impact the appearance of your smile.

Special aids are used to clean the teeth during orthodontics. Floss threaders can be used to clean between teeth and under wires. Water picks are also great for getting plaque out of hard to reach areas around braces.

It is not impossible to manage plaque when you have braces. Instead, it is important to make plaque control a priority in order to protect your health and achieve the results that you desire. To learn more on how to properly clean your teeth and orthodontic appliances, contact your cosmetic dentist in Henderson NV today.