Keeping your teeth clean and healthy when you wear braces can be harder than it was before you had braces fitted. When you wear braces, you have to negotiate your cleaning routine around wires and the brackets that cover parts of your teeth. Oil pulling may give you a useful boost to your regular brushing and flossing routine; however, pulling may come with some downsides. What are the pros and cons of oil pulling when you wear braces?
The Advantages of Oil Pulling With Braces
Cleaning around your braces to remove bacteria and stains can be tricky. If you don't clean effectively, you may be left with cosmetic issues when your braces are removed. For example, the areas on your teeth where the brackets were situated may be whiter than the rest of your teeth if you don't keep the uncovered areas of your teeth clear from stains; you may also see bracket marks on your teeth if plaque bacteria around your brackets is allowed to damage your teeth.
Oil pulling may help you keep the exposed areas of your teeth free from stains and the bacteria that may attack your teeth around the edges of your brackets. Bacteria are attracted to the oil you pull, sticking to it so that you can spit out the bacteria when you spit out your oil pull. As well as giving you a better-out-than-in solution, the act of swishing may also help clean and whiten your teeth by removing surface plaque, food residues and stains.
You may also find that oil pulling helps whenever you have your braces adjusted. The soothing properties of oil may help reduce the pain and discomfort you may have for the first day or so after having your braces tightened.
The Disadvantages of Oil Pulling With Braces
If you oil pull regularly, you may lighten the bacterial load in your mouth and keep your teeth cleaner around your brackets; however, oil cannot get under your brace brackets. This may ultimately give you a cosmetic headache once your brackets are removed.
For example, oil pulling may clean and whiten the areas of your teeth that aren't covered by brackets; however, the oil may not touch the parts of your teeth under the brackets. If you had discoloured teeth to start with, you may end up with darker or yellower areas on the parts of your teeth that had brackets compared to the parts of your teeth the oil could work on.
Consulting with Your Dentist
Before you decide to oil pull with braces, it's worth considering the state of your teeth before the braces go on. Talk to your orthodontist about how oil pulling may affect the eventual colour of all parts of your teeth. Your orthodontist may be able to clean up minor discoloured areas once your braces come off, in which case you may be told it's OK to oil pull.
If it looks likely that current discolouration may affect the way your teeth look after oil pulling when you have your braces on, you can also get your dentist to give you a clean and scale before having your braces fitted. This may help get all parts of your teeth in a better state before bracing and may reduce uneven colouration after oil pulling during your bracing treatment. For more information, schedule an appointment with a local cosmetic dentistry clinic.