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Oral bacteria and orthodontics

Whether you have braces, wear a plate or wear Invisalign aligners, when it comes to orthodontics, good oral hygiene plays a key role.

That’s because the mouth is home to hundreds of types of bacteria – some good, some not so nice, and good oral hygiene is the best way to discriminate between the two.

Here’s a quick guide to oral bacteria and orthodontics.

Oral bacteria

Over 700 types of bacteria can be detected in the mouth, although most people will only have between 250 and 300 types present at any given time.

Most bacteria are believed to be harmless. Some even works in our favour, but there are bacteria present that can be damaging to our teeth and gums. 

The best way to manage bacteria is to have a good oral hygiene routine, that cleans teeth and gums, removing the food remnants that bad bacteria feed on.

The good

Like many areas of the human body, the mouth hosts good bacteria to keep things in check. Among the list of good bacteria is probiotics which may work to start the process of breaking down food.

In addition to starting the digestive process, a study by The European Journal of Dentistry has also found probiotics may help combat common disease such as gum disease and oral candida.

Meanwhile, a recent article in the Scientific American notes good bacteria like Streptococcus salivarius K12 might help balance out the bacteria which causes bad breath.

The bad

When we think of bad bacteria, there are two which commonly spring to mind, and the most common of these is Streptococcus mutans.

This bacteria feeds on sugars and starches present in the mouth, but as it does so it produces acid which can erode tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay.

The second major bad bacteria type is Porphyromonas gingivalis. This bacteria strain is not present in everyone, but is strongly linked with gum disease. Ultimately, gum disease can lead to loose teeth, bone damage and teeth loss.

The balance

Good oral hygiene isn’t about eliminating all bacteria, it’s about reducing the environment in which harmful bacteria can thrive. That’s why it’s so important to brush at least twice a day and floss regularly as well.

When it comes to braces, this oral hygiene routine needs to be particularly vigilant because there are more places in the mouth for food remnants and therefore bad bacteria to hide.  

You can read more about keeping your teeth and braces clean here.

About Norwest Orthodontics

Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping you achieve a great smile, no matter your age. We feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.

We also have a suite of treatments available that include discrete, removable Invisalign braces, and welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

You can learn more about our services, or contact us to make an appointment.


Oral bacteria and orthodontics

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