DR. S.V. SINGH, OMBUDSPERSON - E-mail ID: ombudsperson@santosh.ac.in

Dental braces are appliances used for straightening and aligning teeth and guide teeth to correct position. Dental braces treatment is a time consuming long term treatment in which wires, brackets and bands are attached to teeth to correct their position. Therefore it is very important to remember tips to take care of Dental braces properly.

It is a known fact now that besides being a respiratory infection, Covid-19 also affects many other organs and parts of the body. But what is its connection with the oral cavity and how it’s damaging oral cavity?

Researchers have noted that the coronavirus can enter the lungs from saliva. That it moves directly from the mouth into the bloodstream, especially if the individual is suffering from a gum disease.

“The oral cavity is a potential reservoir for respiratory pathogens. Viral respiratory infections predispose patients to bacterial super infections. It was found that severe Covid-19 cases were significantly associated with secondary bacterial infections.

“Simple measures like careful tooth brushing and interdental cleaning to reduce plaque build-up, along with specific mouthwashes, or even salt water rinses to reduce gingival inflammation, could help decrease the viral load in saliva, which will prevent bacteremia, which reduces the chance of deterioration to severe Covid-19,”

Various studies says that C- protein (CRP) is a marker of hyper-inflammation, which shows that “poor oral health was correlated to increased values of CRP and delayed [Covid] recovery period”. “In addition, periodontitis as an inflammatory disease may encourage the liver to generate CRP. These increased levels of CRP may be linked to the overproduction of inflammatory cytokines, which could be aggravated by poor oral hygiene.”

1. Drink more water: The mask causes dehydration, which leads to dryness of mouth and increased mouth breathing. It causes bad breath. So, don’t wait until you are thirsty.

2. Increase the antioxidant intake: Add multiple servings of green leafy vegetables, bright coloured fruits and vegetables. They provide necessary nutrients and minerals to oral tissues.

3.Check your diet-Avoid sticky, hard and fibrous food like hard nuts such as almonds or walnuts, raw or fibrous vegetables, tough meat. You must eat soft foods that won’t irritate gums, tongue or palate.

4. 3-minute oral hygiene: Always use a fluoridated toothpaste. Devote at least two minutes to your brushing routine and a minute to floss with interdental floss/water or air flosser/proxa brush to clean the interproximal surfaces. Don’t forget to clean your tongue and palate. Also massage your gums regularly and do warm saline rinses.

5. Don’t overindulge: Overzealous brushing or excessive use of tongue scraper can deplete the good bacteria. Oral probiotics can help repopulate the oral cavity with beneficial bacteria during sleep when salivary flow is reduced.

6. Choose proper toothpaste, toothbrush and Dental floss-Your orthodontist will advise you about the type of toothpaste, toothbrush and dental floss according to the type of braces.

7. Avoid fizzy, aerated and high sugary drinks-Aerated and fizzy drinks with high sugar content make teeth more prone to caries. Moreover colours in these drinks may discolour braces.

8. Don’t bite your nails, needles or pens-Don’t use your teeth as tools. This means avoid biting on nails, needles, pens, pencil or other hard objects.

9. Be patient-Orthodontic treatment takes long time to get desired results. Therefore be patient and follow the instructions properly.

10.Follow all the instructions during and after treatment Each and every individual is different so as the teeth and jaw. Thoroughly follow all the instructions given by your orthodontist. Most of the cases require retainers also after full treatment to prevent relapse. So follow the advice properly.

11.Broken brackets common -While correcting irregular teeth forces with different intensity are applied on teeth through brackets and wires. Breakage of brackets is common. In case of any broken bracket immediately inform your orthodontist.

12.Report any side effects to your orthodontist-Mouth ulcers and gum diseases are common side effects with braces. Some individuals also complain of pain and discomfort. Always report your discomfort or any other side effect to your dentist so that they can prescribe some medication or advice some solution to it.

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