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Adding orthodontics hardware to your mouth can make it hard to keep your mouth clean. Extra hardware provides increased surface area for food debris, plaque, and acids to sit on your teeth and gums. This can create problems in your mouth.

The bacteria in your mouth hide in crevices around your orthodontics hardware and in between your teeth. The bacteria coalesce into a biofilm called plaque. The plaque biofilm then digests food particles left in your mouth. This process produces an acidic byproduct, which etches into the areas around your brackets and bands. This produces white, chalky orthodontic spots. Luckily, these spots can be avoided as you learn to properly care for your braces. Follow these simple tips when caring for your braces:

Brush: When you brush your teeth, hold the brush at a 45* angle at the base of your gums. Brush back and forth using short strokes, 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 may be helpful to hold the lip out of the way while you brush the top of your brackets.

Floss: Use a threader and traditional dental floss to remove plaque from between teeth. It does take a little extra time to thread the floss under the wires, but it is worth it to prevent the food particles and plaque from damaging your enamel.

For more information about caring for your braces, call Louis Migliazzo, DDS in Tucson, Arizona, at 520-323-7550. Dr. Louis Migliazzo and our team are happy to help!