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Habits & Foods to Avoid When Wearing Braces

Article by Dr. Leaver & Dr. Gardner

If you brush and floss your teeth daily, and steer clear of sugary drinks and candy, you probably think you deserve a gold star at your next dental checkup. But according to the dental professionals at Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics there are many innocent habits that can damage your teeth by eroding enamel and causing decay.

Habits to Avoid When Wearing Fixed Braces

If you want to keep your teeth and smile as healthy as it can possibly be, the dental specialists at Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics recommend cutting back or avoiding the following habits.
Chewing on Ice Can Damage Teeth & Dental Work: Chewing on ice can cause your teeth to chip or break and at best you may lose a filling or damage other dental work including braces. While teeth are hard and resilient, they are not designed for the stresses associated with chewing ice.
Bottled Water May Not be Fluoridated: Drinking plain tap water helps protect teeth with fluoride. The benefits of fluoride include protecting teeth against decay and promoting remineralization to help repair minor tooth decay. Many brands of bottled water either contain no fluoride at all or not enough to really make up the difference that is needed for a good standard of oral health. Instead of reaching for bottled water every time you take a sip, try alternating with tap water.
Sipping Gatorade & Sports Drinks is Bad for Teeth: You may not even be aware of the amount of sugars and chemical additives found in sport drinks that can weaken tooth enamel. According to research sports drinks are actually worse for your teeth than drinking regular soda. If you insist on drinking your daily Gatorade, drink it all at once instead of sipping throughout the day. Swish your mouth out with water or chew a piece of sugar-free gum to help neutralize the acid content.
Chewing Sugary Gum is Bad for Teeth: While chewing sugary gum is a dental no-no, chewing sugarless gum has been show to improve your overall oral health. Chewing gum helps to promote saliva which helps to re-mineralize teeth and defend against cavities. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal is beneficial to guarding against bad breath as well as preventing cavity causing bacteria from accumulating in the mouth. Check with your Leaver & Gardner dental professionals to find out if chewing gum is acceptable with your specific orthodontic device.
Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard: Being thorough is one thing but being overly aggressive can irritate your gums and make your teeth sensitive especially to cold temperatures. Brushing too hard can also wear down your enamel and create an opportunity for cavities. Your Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics dental professionals recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush which will remove plaque buildup without damaging the surface of your teeth or your orthodontic devices.
Putting off your Dental Checkup: Your Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics dental professionals recommend a regular checkup and dental cleaning every six months with your regular dentist. Yet many of us put off our checkup for varied reasons and before we know it, six months has turned into a year or two. Smaller dental issues that you might be unaware of such as tiny cavities have the opportunity to turn into problems which may require major dental work. Stick to your appointments to safeguard against expensive dental procedures that might have been avoided with regular dental visits.

Teeth Straightening Braces Options

For more information regarding orthodontics and other treatment options, contact the dental experts at Leaver & Garner Orthodontics today and speak with a friendly customer service provider to schedule an appointment.