Common Dental Issues with Braces

dental bracesDuring the course of orthodontic treatment, some patients struggle with various problems, many of which are entirely avoidable. We encourage our patients to be diligent with proper dental care and routine cleanings. Failure to emphasize consistent healthy dental habits can lead to serious, and sometimes permanent, damage.

Demineralization
Demineralization is the loss of minerals from the tooth surface around braces, caused by acid. This loss will cause a chalky white spot on your tooth, which can lead to a cavity.

Gingivitis
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is the earliest stage of periodontitis, or gum disease. Gingivitis can be identified by red, swollen gums that often bleed while brushing. Gingivitis is reversible, but if left untreated can cause permanent damage and even tooth loss. Flossing and cleaning near the gum line can be difficult with braces. Brushing and flossing daily are essential for prevention.

Tooth Sensitivity
Sensitivity is characterized by a sharp, almost stinging sensation when you eat hot or cold foods. It occurs when the protective enamel of the tooth or teeth has worn down, exposing the nerve endings of the tooth. Sensitive teeth are often a result of vigorous brushing or lack of proper dental care and routine cleanings. Brushing after every meal and flossing daily can help prevent sensitive teeth.

Plaque
The combination of saliva and food particles leads to plaque, which causes numerous problems from decay to gum disease. In the presence of sugar, plaque forms acid that erodes the tooth enamel and leads to tooth decay. If plaque is not routinely removed with daily brushing, flossing and routine dental cleanings, it can turn it tartar.

Tartar
This forms after plaque is left on teeth and hardens. Tartar begins to develop after 24 hours and can strike the gum line, under the gums, and around braces and other orthodontic devices. Consistent brushing and flossing is needed to combat tartar.

Consultation
The idea of braces can be intimidating, however, these common issues are short lived and do not occur in all cases. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at 203-292-6644.

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