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I’ve Noticed Heavy Plaque on My Braces: What to Do?

by | May 7, 2024 | Dental Braces, Oral Health | 0 comments

5 min reading time

Braces are fantastic for aligning your teeth, but they have a downside: those little nooks and crannies can become food and plaque magnets. 

Don’t stress, though! Dealing with plaque on braces is perfectly manageable.

We’re here to help you tackle plaque buildup head-on so you can breeze through your braces journey with a radiant smile and no worries about your oral health!

What Is Plaque, and How Does It Affect Braces?

Picture plaque like a sneaky film crew that sets up camp on your teeth, starring bacteria as the main characters. Now, add braces to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a blockbuster dental disaster waiting to happen! Those brackets and wires are like cozy little homes for food bits and bacteria to hang out, leading to plaque buildup galore.

If you don’t give plaque the boot regularly, it can wreak havoc in your mouth, causing cavities, gum problems, and even periodontal disease. And trust us, you don’t want these troublemakers crashing your orthodontic party—they’ll make your treatment journey way bumpier than it needs to be!

Why Does Plaque Build Up More with Braces?

Braces are fantastic for straightening teeth, but they also have a pesky side effect: they’re magnets for plaque! With all those extra nooks and crannies, it’s easy for food particles and bacteria to set up camp and throw a plaque party.

Think about it: the brackets, hooks, and wires create perfect hiding spots for these troublemakers. And if you’re not diligent about cleaning around them, plaque can quickly turn your mouth into a bacteria playground. That’s a recipe for tooth decay, inflamed gums, and even those dreaded white spots on your pearly whites once the braces come off!

To battle plaque buildup, you’ve got to bring out the heavy artillery! Start with fluoride toothpaste and an electric toothbrush to power through those hard-to-reach spots. Then, get in there with some dental floss or a water flosser to flush out any lingering debris.

Don’t forget about those tricky areas around your braces! Floss threaders are your secret weapon for getting between wires and brackets with ease.

Of course, regular check-ins with us at Loudoun Orthodontics are a must. We’ll ensure your gums are in tip-top shape, and your smile is as straight as possible!

3 Signs of Plaque Causing Problems with Braces

3 Signs of Plaque Causing Problems with Braces

Here are three signs that plaque is causing problems with your braces:

  1. Gum Inflammation and Bleeding: If you notice your gums acting up—bleeding or looking a bit puffy—it’s time to pay attention. These could be signs of gum disease, often triggered by a buildup of plaque cozying up along your gum line. That plaque party can lead to irritation and infection in your gum tissue.
  2. White Spots on Teeth: White spots on teeth are often the early signs of tooth decay. They show up when plaque on your braces isn’t scrubbed away. These spots signal mineral loss and the start of cavity trouble.
  3. Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath, or halitosis, is another sign of plaque buildup. Bacteria in plaque are big fans of bad odors, especially when feasting on food bits stuck in and around your braces.

How Can I Prevent Plaque from Building Up on My Braces?

Keeping plaque at bay is key to a healthy smile and a successful orthodontic journey.

Here are some specific strategies to keep your teeth clean and healthy:

What Is the Best Way to Brush Teeth with Braces?

Maintaining oral hygiene with braces demands a bit more effort, but it’s worth it for a healthier smile. 

Here’s how to brush effectively:

Opt for a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush to gently clean around brackets and the gum line. Angle the brush at 45 degrees or use an interdental brush to reach beneath wires and around brackets effectively.

Choose fluoride toothpaste to strengthen tooth enamel and fend off decay. Brush after every meal and snack to prevent plaque buildup and ensure a clean mouth during orthodontic treatment.

How Often Should I Floss with Braces?

Incorporating flossing into your daily routine is key for a thorough clean with braces. 

Here’s how to do it right: utilize a floss threader or sturdy floss designed for braces to navigate under wires and between teeth effectively.

Make flossing part of your nightly routine to ensure your teeth are squeaky clean before hitting the hay. This habit is crucial for preventing gum disease and maintaining healthy gum tissue.

4 Foods to Avoid to Minimize Plaque on Braces

4 Foods to Avoid to Minimize Plaque on Braces

Certain foods can increase the risk of plaque buildup and challenge maintaining good oral hygiene with braces. 

Here are four types of foods to avoid:

  1. Sticky Sweets and Candies: These items tend to become trapped in braces and pose challenges for removal, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
  2. Hard Foods: Nuts and popcorn kernels have the potential to harm orthodontic appliances and can also create difficulty in removing trapped food particles, leading to hygiene challenges.
  3. Highly Pigmented Beverages: Coffee, tea, and red wine have the tendency to cause staining on both braces and teeth if not promptly cleaned after consumption.
  4. Sugary Sodas: These can contribute to the development of dental plaque, elevating the likelihood of tooth decay.

Steering clear of certain foods and choosing braces-friendly alternatives, combined with consistent brushing and flossing, are key practices for preserving oral health and ensuring your orthodontic journey is a success, leading to a radiant, straight smile.

Orthodontic care

Thinking about Getting Braces? Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Lee Today!

Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if orthodontic care is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic care or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or message us through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a complimentary consultation!

Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave. Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves the Loudoun County. If you’re residing in Ashburn, Leesburg, or Sterling and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Northern Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office!

We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining your perfect smile, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!