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Starting on the journey to a straighter and healthier smile has the potential to bring with it concerns, one of these being if the treatment of braces and the invasive nature against the teeth can cause damage to tooth enamel. Here at your specialist orthodontist in Darwen, we hear this concern from many patients and it’s important to remember that braces are an extremely common type of treatment, successfully used to improve smiles and jaw functionality around the world.

Our support and guidance can help put your worries at ease, but let’s take a look at why this is a worry for many people and help to put your mind at rest. 


What is Tooth Enamel?

Before addressing the concerns related to braces, it’s beneficial to understand the structure of our teeth. Enamel is the protective, outermost layer of our teeth, known for its hardness and resilience. It shields the tooth crown (the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum) from cavities and damage and is the hardest substance in the body. While enamel is strong, it is not invincible and can be broken down over time by various factors, including poor oral hygiene and acidic foods.


Can Braces Have an Impact on Tooth Enamel?

Braces are designed to gradually move teeth into their proper positions by applying gentle and controlled pressure. The brackets, wires, and other components work together to shift the teeth within the jawbone so it’s natural to wonder if this process might compromise the enamel. Orthodontic treatment is performed by a qualified professional, so the risk of enamel damage is very minimal, and modern braces are designed to minimise friction and pressure, and the likelihood of enamel erosion.


How Does Dental Hygiene Impact Tooth Enamel?

While braces themselves don’t damage the teeth, failure to maintain oral hygiene while wearing braces can lead to enamel damage. At Darwen Orthodontics, we advise patients to brush their teeth at least twice daily, preferably after every meal and additionally, we recommend flossing with a thin, waxed floss or floss threader, to remove any food particles trapped between your braces and teeth. Neglecting proper oral hygiene during braces treatment can result in decay and discolouration.

It is also important to regularly visit your dentist and orthodontist when wearing braces and request frequent teeth cleanings to prevent decay. Skipping dental check-ups can increase the risk of enamel damage while wearing braces.


Bracket Removal: Why This is a Worry When It Comes to Tooth Enamel

Many people worry about the bracket removal process and its potential impact on enamel. Rest assured, as experienced orthodontists in Darwen; we ensure our patients that the risk of enamel damage during bracket removal is minimal. Orthodontists undergo extensive training and have the experience to perform the procedure safely ensuring that the brackets are removed carefully to minimise any potential harm to your enamel.


Tips on How to Protect Your Tooth Enamel During Braces Treatment

It is common knowledge that sugar and acid can damage your teeth, in particular, erode the enamel of your teeth. It is also understood that consuming certain foods whilst wearing braces can damage both your teeth and the braces. Avoid sticky, hard, or crunchy foods and keep sugary and acidic food and drinks to a minimum to reduce bacteria build-up on the teeth.

Other ways to protect your teeth’s enamel during orthodontic treatment are: 

  • Maintain Oral Hygiene – brushing and flossing become even more crucial during orthodontic treatment. Braces create additional spaces for plaque and food particles to accumulate, making diligent oral hygiene practices essential. 
  • Follow Orthodontic Instructions – adhere to the guidelines provided by your orthodontist regarding the care and maintenance of your braces. This includes using any prescribed appliances, adhering to adjustment schedules, and promptly addressing any issues that may arise.
  • Wait Before Brushing – if you do consume acidic foods or beverages, we advise waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, as brushing immediately after exposure to acid can further damage the vulnerable enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and then brush as advised.
  • Use Fluoride – fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and guards against erosion. We encourage patients to incorporate fluoride into their oral care routine by using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. A fluoride rinse can be used at a separate time to brushing for maximum fluoride benefit.


Support and Guidance Throughout your Treatment from a Specialist Orthodontist in Darwen

Braces themselves do not ruin your teeth’s enamel, but poor oral hygiene, unhealthy eating habits, and neglecting dental check-ups can. At our orthodontists in Darwen, we emphasise the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, following a healthy diet, and attending regular dental visits while wearing braces. 

Following our support, guidance, and expertise can help you achieve a beautiful smile while preserving the health of your teeth. Contact your expert orthodontist in Darwen today and book your free consultation.

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