Last updated 2 years ago
Don’t Let Plaque Win
Once teeth are straightened by braces, it is easier to reach plaque on and between your teeth. But while wearing braces, plaque and food particles have additional places to accumulate and become trapped.
Treat Your Gums Kindly
While wearing braces, you might consider using the sensitive mode of your Oral-B Electric Toothbrush. The sensitive mode oscillates at a lower speed for extra care and comfort along the gum line—and around the brackets and orthodontic wires.
Brush and Floss Like a Pro
Get started. Remove elastics, bands, or removable parts of orthodontic appliances.
Clean your braces. Carefully clean around wires and pins.
Brush each wire. Move top to bottom, and all the way around upper and lower teeth.
Brush your teeth. Dental professionals recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice daily. That means each quadrant of your mouth gets 30 seconds. Oral-B Electric Toothbrushes have a built-in timer that pulses every 30 seconds to let you know when to switch areas of the mouth. As you’re brushing, make sure to clean all areas of the tooth. Some people find they get the best clean going tooth by tooth.
Floss once a day. Use waxed floss and thread it carefully under the main wire before passing between two teeth. Don’t snap it—simply move up and down gently, remove, and move on to the next pair of teeth. Use Oral-B Superfloss®, which is self-threading or regular floss with a floss threader to place above and below the orthodontic wire.
Rinse, and then check your teeth. Rinse thoroughly. Examine teeth and braces in the mirror, and remember to look for any remaining food particles.
Plan Regular Checkups
Seeing your orthodontist for checkups and adjustments is essential. He or she can repair broken pieces, answer general questions, and address any irregularities such as cavities or gingivitis. Our office may recommend a fluoride treatment as a precaution.
Last updated 2 years ago
In 2011-2012, dental cavities, or caries, affected 91% of adults aged 20-64 years in the US, exacerbated by consumption of sugary foods and drink, lack of oral hygiene and not paying regular visits to the dentist. For the mouth to stay healthy, pH levels must be neutral. Too much acid can cause dental cavities or other disorders.
Acid in the mouth causes bacteria on the teeth to create more acid, and acid dissolves the teeth.
The research revealed a new strain of bacteria that could keep bad bacteria under control, and pave the way to using probiotics to prevent cavities.
Keeping a balanced pH in the mouth
Previous research by the same authors has found that two main compounds are broken down into ammonia, and this helps to neutralize acid in the mouth.
The two compounds are urea, which everyone secretes in the mouth, and arginine, an amino acid. The researchers already knew that people who had few or no cavities were better at breaking down arginine than those with cavities.
They knew that bacteria were responsible for breaking down these compounds, but did not know which bacteria do this best, or how this activity prevents cavities.
Samples of dental plaque, the bacteria that grow on the surface of teeth and can contribute to the formation of cavities, were collected for the study.
Over 2,000 bacteria were then screened to find the right one. The team characterized 54 bacteria that metabolized arginine. Of these, A12 had all the properties needed to prevent cavities probiotically.
They hope to use the findings to develop a screening tool for people with a higher risk of developing cavities, alongside other factors, such as diet and oral hygiene habits.
Nascimento says that if they can confirm that people with a higher level of A12 develop fewer cavities, A12 could be used to measure for cavity risk.
'Good' bacteria to fight the bad
The fact that A12 helps to neutralize acid by metabolizing arginine was not the only discovery. The authors also found that A12 often kills Streptococcus mutans, an especially harmful kind ofl bacteria.
Even when A12 did not kill S. mutans, it hindered it from causing disease by disrupting the processes.
Burne points out that growing A12 and S. mutans together reduced the ability of the bacterium to develop properly or to make biofilms, also known as dental plaque.
S. mutans metabolizes sugar into lactic acid, and this contributes to the acidic conditions that form cavities.
Meanwhile, the researchers hope to carry out a larger study to find more instances of A12, and to test how prevalent bacteria with similar properties are in the human mouth.
While the development of an effective oral probiotic is still a long way off, A12 looks a promising candidate.