Most people take care of their teeth because they want a white smile and to keep their teeth. While those are certainly good reasons, they are just two of many reasons to maintain good oral hygiene. Not taking care of your mouth can actually lead to a long list of health issues that you would just as soon avoid. This is true during orthodontic treatment and afterward.
Good Oral Hygiene for a Healthy Smile
If you do not follow a proper oral hygiene routine during your orthodontic treatment, one of the most obvious issues you will experience is an unhealthy mouth. Tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath can all result from neglecting this important part of self-care. Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease in which the gums experience inflammation. Left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis. In these cases, the infection has actually spread to the tissues that connect the gums to your teeth.
Medical Conditions Associated with Poor Oral Hygiene
As stated above, poor oral health regardless of whether or not you are undergoing orthodontic treatment can spread and cause problems in other areas of the body. Two of the biggest concerns are the possibility of a heart attack and stroke. There are many more potential diseases that can be linked to a lack of maintaining good oral hygiene, including:
- Kidney disease
- Oral cancers
- Pancreatic cancer
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications
Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day is the most important part of a good routine. Whenever possible, you should do it as soon as you wake up before eating anything and then right before bed. This is especially important when wearing braces and other orthodontic appliances. Other ways to keep your smile looking and feeling its best include:
- Avoid eating too many sugary foods and drinks
- Use a mouthwash twice daily
- Invest in a tongue cleaner and use it periodically
- Drink plenty of water
- Quit smoking, if that applies
Another important step is to regularly seek out professional dental care.
Get All the Facts
Learn more about good oral hygiene and how we can maintain it during orthodontic treatment by setting up a time to visit us at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX. We would be more than happy to tell you more information about the dos and don’ts when undergoing treatment. Contact us today to book your appointment and get started.