Dental hygiene, Mandatory dental hygiene with braces


Oral hygiene is significant if we have braces. As food particles get stuck easily beneath the braces it is majorly important to brush thoroughly. Dental diseases and gum diseases are a result of poor oral hygiene. It may lead to serious health complications like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. It’s recommended to learn proper oral hygiene at the earliest to avoid long-term health issues and expensive dental procedures.

Perfect brushing technique for dental hygiene:

  • Move the toothbrush in circular motions. This removes food particles stuck under the gumline. Brush between the braces and over every tooth surface, holding the brush at a slight angle.
  • Replace the toothbrush every often as its bristles wear down more with braces.
  • Flossing is essential as it removes food particles and plaque when you wear braces. It must be done at least once a day. It bleeds if we floss for the first time but if it continues after a couple of times, consult the dentist.

Symptoms of oral and dental problems

Don’t wait to visit the dentist, until you get symptoms. Get checked up twice a year which will help to identify any problem at the earliest.

Make an appointment as soon as possible with a dental doctor if you experience any of the following signs:

  • Toothache or pain
  • Pain while biting or chewing
  • Frequent dry mouth
  • Swelling in cheek and face
  • Broken, cracked or loose teeth
  • Sudden sensitivity to cold and hot beverages or temperature
  • Swollen or bleeding gums after flossing or brushing.
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Sores, ulcers, or tender areas in mouth that won’t heal even after 1 or 2 weeks

Any symptoms accompanied by neck or facial swelling and high fever must seek a medical emergency.

Factors that lead to oral or dental problems

Basically, few bacteria make up the normal flora of the mouth. And our oral cavity gathers all sorts of viruses, fungi, and bacteria from the food we eat. Though they are harmless in tiny quantities, Intake of a high sugar-containing diet creates an environment for acid-producing bacteria to flourish. The acid produced dissolves the strong tooth enamel leading to dental cavities.

Plaque is a sticky matrix that shelters bacteria near the gumline. When there is no regular flossing and brushing the plaque settles, hardens, and moves along the length of the teeth. This can lead to gingivitis which inflames the gums.

Factors that contribute to periodontitis and gingivitis are many, along with;

  • Snacking on drinks and foods high in sugar often
  • Diabetes, smoking
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • The acid may cause frequent vomiting
  • Acid reflux or poor brushing habits
  • Genetics, HIV or AIDS
  • Usage of medicines that decreases the amount of saliva produced in the mouth

Diagnosing dental problems due to poor dental hygiene with braces

A maximum of oral and dental problems can be found during a dental test. The dentist will closely inspect the throat, teeth, cheeks tongue, mouth, neck, and jaws.

Dental X-rays: Diagnosis begins with the dentist tapping or scraping at the teeth with a variety of instruments and tools. Then dental X-ray is taken to get an image of each tooth. Women must inform that they are pregnant as they should not undergo X-rays.

Probe: It is a tool that measures gum pockets. This tells whether there is gum disease or receding gums. The depth of the pockets between the teeth in a healthy mouth is between 1 to 3mm. Measurement is higher than this indicated gum disease.

Gum biopsy: It is performed if any lesions, growth, or abnormal lumps are found in the mouth. A small piece is taken from the lesion and sent to a lab to check for cancerous cells.

In case of oral cancer, imaging tests will be taken to see the spread of it such as

  1. MRI scan   
  2. Endoscopy   
  3. CT scan   
  4. X-ray

Types of oral and dental diseases due to poor hygiene:

Cavities– They are also called tooth decay and they are areas that are permanently damaged. They occur when acid, bacteria, and food coat the teeth forming plaque

Gum disease (gingivitis) – Gingivitis is the result of plaque because of poor flossing and brushing habits.

Periodontitis – The infection spreads to bones and jaws if periodontitis progresses and leads to inflammatory response throughout the body.

Broken or cracked teeth – Chewing hard foods, injury, grinding of teeth can result in broken and cracked teeth which is quite painful.

Sensitive teeth – It’s also referred to as dentin hypersensitivity. The person might feel discomfort and pain after consuming hot or cold beverages or foods. The teeth might also become sensitive after root canal treatment, a filling or because of:

  •  wind-down crowns or fillings
  • Cracked tooth
  • Receding gums and gum disease

Oral cancer: Presence of cancerous cells in gums, the floor of the mouth, soft and hard palate, lips, cheek, or tongue.

Treatment of oral problems due to poor dental hygiene

Along with regular dentist check-ups, professional cleaning is required two times a year. This is a must even if you follow proper dental hygiene. For other dental issues, other treatments will be suggested.

Cleaning of plaque:

A dental hygienist does the professional cleaning. This process helps to remove the plaque we miss while brushing/flossing. This also gets rid of tartar. The high-powered toothbrush is later used to brush the teeth. Then rinsing and flossing is done.

Antibiotics treatment:

If you show signs of a gum infection or you have a tooth abscess that has spread to other teeth or your jaw, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of the infection. The antibiotic may be in the form of a mouth rinse, gel, oral tablet, or capsule. The topical antibiotic gel is applied to the teeth or gums during a surgical procedures.

Fluoride treatments:

This treatment is done to fight off cavities. Fluoride is a natural mineral. This aids with making the enamel of your tooth strong.

Crowns, sealants, and fillings:

A filling is used to repair a cavity, crack, or hole in the tooth. The dentist will first use a drill to remove the damaged area of the tooth and then fill the hole with some material, such as amalgam or composite.

Root canal for tooth decay:

It is needed if tooth decay reaches the nerve inside the teeth. This is done by removing the nerve and replacing it with a filling. The filling is made of a biocompatible material. It is a combination of rubber-like material gutta-percha and adhesive cement.

Probiotics to prevent oral cancer:

Probiotics play a major role in digestive health. New research suggests that healthy bacteria are useful for teeth and gums. They help avoid plaque and bad breath. They help with: Prevention of oral cancer and the decrease of inflammation from gum disease.

Rescheduling daily habits:

Keeping your mouth healthy is a daily commitment. A can teach you how to properly take care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis.
In addition to brushing and flossing, your daily routine can include

Daily dental hygiene is a great responsibility. A dental hygienist will teach you the right way to take care of your teeth and gums. We think brushing and flossing is more than enough. But your routine should also include mouthwash, oral rinses, other tools (Waterpik water flosser).

Surgeries for dental and oral problems:

Serious cases of periodontal disease are treated by oral surgeries. Few surgeries are done to fix or replace missing or teeth that is broken.

 Flap surgery

During flap surgery, a surgeon makes a small cut in the gum to lift up a section of the tissue. They then remove tartar and bacteria from underneath the gums. The flap is then stitched back into place around your teeth.

Bone grafting

When the disease in the gum damages the bone that surrounds the root of the tooth bone grafting is done. The dentist fixes it with a graft from a synthetic bone donated bone or self bone.

Soft tissue grafts

A tiny piece of tissue is removed from donor tissue or the mouth. It is attached to the missing areas of the gums.

Tooth extraction

is an option when root canal or surgeries cannot save your teeth.

Dental implants

These implants are surgically positioned in the jawbone, and bones grow around it. This is called osseointegration. Dental implants are basically used to replace lost tooth due to accidents or diseases.

How to have healthy teeth and gums

Good general health and common sense is an outcome.e of maintaining oral hygiene.

  • brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day
  • limit sugary drinks and snacks
  • flossing for at least once a day
  • avoid products of tobacco
  • having teeth cleaned by a dentist every 6 months
  • follow a low sugar, low-fat and high-fiber diet that includes a lot of vegetables and fruits.

Studies say about oral hygiene with braces that

As per the American Academy of Periodontology, men are more likely to not take care of their gums and teeth compared to men. They are less likely to regularly floss, brush twice per day and seek dental care. This might lead to serious oral diseases, especially with braces.

Women are at risk of complicated oral issues due to change in hormones. Woman experience swelled gums or mouth sores during her periods when she starts menstruating. When a woman first starts menstruating, she may experience mouth sores or swollen gums during her periods.


So, take care of your teeth by avoiding some foods and practicing healthy oral hygiene. Hoping this will make your smile better and confident!

Subin Joshua
Author: Hi there, my name is Subin Joshua, and I am a Medical student. I grew up in a family of teachers and know that being a social worker is my calling. My passion for helping others has been evident in my involvement in helping the poor and needy for the last three years. Through those experiences, I have learned to interact with a diverse group of people, which has increased my ability to relate to others.