Braces & Tooth Erosion

Braces & Tooth Erosion
Posted on 02/15/2018

As your providers of Laurel and Bethesda orthodontics, we at Heller Orthodontics want all our patients to have the knowledge and information needed to ensure a lifelong, healthy smile. That’s why we always endeavor to educate our patients about proper oral hygiene and other useful tips regarding their dental care. Without great daily oral care, you may end up suffering from a number of problematic oral conditions, especially while you’re wearing braces. One such example is tooth erosion. Your orthodontist in Laurel and Bethesda has provided the basics below.

What Is Tooth Erosion?

Tooth erosion is when your tooth enamel wears away, exposing the tooth’s dentin. Enamel is the hard and protective coating of the tooth. When that wears away and the dentin is showing, a person will be much more likely to feel sensitivity and pain. Another common effect of tooth erosion is discoloration. If the enamel is worn off, the tooth can appear yellower or even more transparent.

What Causes Tooth Erosion?

The most common cause of tooth erosion is the food that you eat. Foods that have a high level of acidity are capable of damaging your tooth enamel in just 30 seconds of contact. Some examples of these highly acidic foods are fruit juice, citrus fruits, and soda. The more you consume these foods, the more you’ll be at risk for tooth erosion. You should also be on the lookout for any teeth grinding or clenching habits as this is another cause of tooth erosion.

What Does This Have to Do with Braces?

Patients with braces are extra susceptible to suffering from tooth erosion because they require much more dental care to keep all the areas around their braces clean. When acidic foods or remnants get trapped in some of the many crevices around braces, they’ll make it much more likely for the patient to suffer from tooth erosion. This can cause unsightly discoloration or other noticeable spots that will be even more apparent after the braces have been taken off.

How to Avoid Tooth Erosion

To help prevent tooth erosion, your orthodontist in Laurel and Bethesda recommends following these guidelines:

  • If you’re going to drink any soda or other acidic beverages, use a straw so that the liquid will bypass your teeth.
  • After you eat, rinse your mouth out with water to get rid of any lingering acid.
  • Don’t brush your teeth right after eating something that is acidic as your tooth enamel will be softer and more vulnerable at this time.
  • You can chew on sugar-free gum every so often as it’ll help your mouth produce saliva that’ll be useful in neutralizing acid.
  • If you grind your teeth at night, you should wear a nightguard before you go to bed.
  • Use fluoride rinse as recommended each night to help strengthen your enamel.

Contact Your Provider of Bethesda and Laurel Orthodontics!

Do you have any more questions or concerns for us? Feel free to contact us and let us know! If you’re interested in our Bethesda and Laurel Invisalign or other orthodontic options, we encourage you to fill out our appointment request form. We can’t wait to hear from you!