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The addition of orthodontics hardware can make it difficult to keep everything in your mouth clean. Hardware provides increased surface area for food debris, plaque, and acids to sit on and create problems in your mouth.

The bacteria in your mouth find crevices to hide in in your mouth. As the bacteria multiply, they coalesce into a biofilm called plaque. The plaque biofilm then digests food particles left in your mouth. This process produces an acid byproduct, which collects on your teeth and etches into the areas around your brackets and bands, producing white, chalky orthodontic spots; these spots can be avoided as you learn to properly care for your braces.

Brush: Hold the toothbrush at a 45* angle at the base of the gum line. Brush back and forth gently, then sweep the brush toward the biting surface of your teeth. Make sure to brush the top and bottom surfaces of the brackets, as well as the front. It’s worth the extra few seconds to make sure your mouth stays entirely clean!

Floss: Use a threader and traditional dental floss to remove plaque between teeth. It is necessary to take the time daily to thread floss under the wires to remove plaque and food debris before they can damage enamel.

For more information about caring for your braces, call James B. Macomson, DDS, MSO, PA in Gastonia, North Carolina, at 704-215-4430. Dr. James B. Macomson and our team are happy to help you!