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Keeping your mouth and your braces clean is important for maintaining a healthy mouth while keeping the amount of time you need to wear braces to a minimum. While the wires, brackets and other hardware of your braces are not made from materials that are subject to bacteria and tooth decay they still need to be kept clean.

If you’re new to wearing braces, the wires, brackets and bands of your braces can sometimes be hard to clean around. If food particles and plaque are not removed from the hardware and your teeth it can harden into tartar.

Hardened tartar at the gum line is the leading cause of periodontal disease. Left unchecked, periodontal disease can cause your gums to recede from the base of your teeth, forming pockets of infection down in the gum tissue.

The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. The initial symptoms include red or inflamed gums, that might bleed easily during brushing and flossing. This could also be accompanied by chronic bad breath.

The American Dental Association recommends that you brush, and floss twice a day to remove food particles and plaque before they can harden into tartar.

If you are having trouble working floss between your teeth and around the hardware of your braces, you might want to try using a floss threader. Interdental brushes and dental water jets can also help to remove food particles and plaque from hard to reach places in and around your braces.

If you have questions about how to clean your teeth and braces, please feel free to call Dr. Skeet Burris, Travis Fiegle & Katie Pluckett at (843) 525-6228 to schedule an appointment.