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Gum disease is a common threat against seemingly healthy smiles, but you know it can affect your oral health during orthodontic treatment? If you wear braces, it’s easy for plaque and food particles to build up around the wires and brackets, and effectively cleaning away these deposits may be difficult. The presence of braces can increase your risk of gum disease, and we urge you to boost your dental health with these steps:

– Brush your teeth twice a day. You no doubt know how important it is to brush for two minutes at a time at least twice a day, but you need to brush even more frequently if you wear an orthodontic appliance. Be sure to use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.

– Floss at least once a day. Ideally, you should be flossing more often. The type of flossing product you use doesn’t matter as long as it works for you and your teeth. Floss gently to avoid harming your gums while cleaning your smile. If you are unsure how to floss with braces, we would be more than happy to provide some tips.

– Rinse your mouth with mouthwash daily. A fluoride or anti-bacterial mouthwash is ideal to keep your smile clean, fight plaque growth, and give you fresh breath.

– Visit your dentist every six months during orthodontic treatment. Regular dental cleanings give your dentist’s team the chance to completely remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and are the only treatment that can completely do so.

These four dental practices–brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and visiting the dentist–can significantly contribute to the prevention of gum disease. If you have questions about how to reduce the risk of gum disease during orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact Lee A. Mahlmann, DDS, MS, Inc. at 281-342-6311 and schedule a visit with Dr. Lee A. Mahlmann, our orthodontist in Richmond, Texas.