Why is it important to get your teeth cleaned with braces?

Braces.. the food magnet.

That pretty much sums up the article. Just kidding! Actually, its a little more complicated than that, but we will see to it that you grasp why the practice of regular brushing needs to be enforced, why cleaning is important with braces, and why not cleaning your teeth can hurt your cosmetics on the long run. Like any rough object, it catches stuff. 

metal orthodontic bracket dr adel zakhary dental




Because braces are rice grain sized, its very difficult to clean them. A brace is composed of brackets that are attached to the teeth (or glued on, if you will), and wires that connects these brackets in unison. When the bracket is attached to the tooth, the back of the bracket has these sharp objects called (hooks), and wings. It is probably what grazed your lips, or hurt your cheeks if you never had braces on before. Now when you think about that rice-grain sized object, think about how easy is it for food to get stuck to it. 

Ceramic bracket dr adel zakhary dental side view




The rough edges collect the food over time, and the food starts to build up over the bracket, and when it runs out of places to build up, it starts to collect at the tooth-bracket interface, and then when that is occupied, it then starts to collect over the tooth itself. Imagine the size of the object required to clean that very small, fraction of a millimeter gap between the tooth and the bracket. That "pocket", where food collects. 

Food over time on the tooth surface causes a myriad of problems. From tooth decay to staining and calculus.  However, when food is combined with a trapping roughness on the tooth surface, it causes the appearance of what we call WSL - White Spot Lesion. That is, tooth decay, so bad, that it caused the tooth surface to turn white! 

ajodo wsl white spot lesion armstrong 2010




That causes the tooth to look bad after the braces are removed. So now you are left to contend with white spots that form circles on top of your teeth. And that is just the tip of the iceberg! In the next article, we shall take a look at what happens in the back, where these rings are fixed. If you like our content, consider subscribing to receive it as it is publishes!

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