three girls wearing scarves, two wearing braces, lying in grass and smiling

Can Braces Damage My Teeth?

Maybe you’ve just decided to embark on a journey to a straighter smile and you want to have a better understanding of what you’re getting yourself into. Braces themselves are unlikely to cause damage to your teeth, but wearing them does add to the importance of your personal responsibility for oral hygiene.

Traditional braces can act as traps for food particles, providing anchors for bits of food to hang on to the surface of your teeth. This can allow the bacteria in your mouth to combine with the food to form acids that erode at the teeth’s enamel. While it’s always important to brush well and floss regularly, it’s even more important when you have braces.

Are There Any Risks Involved?

There are a few potential dental issues that can arise during orthodontic treatment with braces, but don’t worry: there are steps you can take to avoid these.

Demineralization

When food particles come together in an acidic environment, the acids break down the surface of the teeth. If tooth demineralization occurs, you can be left with white scars around where your braces were.

Prevention: To avoid chalky white marks on your teeth after braces, you should try to brush after every meal and steer clear of sugary and sticky foods.

Gingivitis

The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis can start to set in when people slack off on their flossing while wearing braces. If left unchecked, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

Prevention: While flossing is a bit more difficult while wearing braces, it’s imperative to maintain gum health and to avoid tooth decay. Check out our tips and tricks for flossing while wearing braces!

Tooth Decay

Plaque, the biofilm that develops on our teeth because of the bacteria that exist in our mouths, is harmful to our teeth since it can lead to tooth decay, or cavities. Plaque buildup hardens to form tartar, which can stain your teeth a yellowish or brown color.

Prevention: Avoid plaque and tartar buildup with daily brushing (with a soft-bristled toothbrush) and flossing. Your regular dental checkups and cleanings at Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics will also help to prevent plaque.

Dr. Walkington and the team at Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics are committed to your oral health, and we will work with you to be sure that you come through your orthodontic treatment with a smile that’s not only straight, but healthy too. Call us today to schedule an orthodontic consultation and to start your journey to the smile of your dreams!

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