Although orthodontic treatment has become much less invasive over the years, it does still imply certain changes. Your mouth and teeth will feel different while you are wearing braces, and one of the side effects of wearing braces may be xerostomia, or chronic dryness of the mouth. Although a small worry in and of itself, a drier mouth is more easily infiltrated by bacteria, and is thus good to avoid.
If your teeth are not lubricated properly by your saliva, they are more prone to tooth decay because saliva has certain antibacterial properties. Dryness of the mouth also affects your gums, as periodontitis can get an easier hold, and dry gums are more easily damaged. This is why xerostomia is considered a risk factor by dentists.
How it occurs
You may find that the increased size of your teeth and brackets together may make it more difficult to close your mouth entirely, and this can dry out your mouth. This happens typically when we are sleeping, and waking up with dry mouth in the morning is a common problem amongst people with braces.
What to do about it
The most important thing is to hydrate properly. Drink more fluids then you normally would, as this will keep your saliva ducts filled up longer. Also make sure that you keep your dentist appointments and take extra good care when brushing and flossing. Try sleeping with a humidifier on, to see if this can create an environment in which enough moisture is absorbed. Limit activities that dry out your mouth, like drinking tea or coffee, smoking or drinking alcohol. With proper care and maintenance, xerostomia is nothing more than a slight discomfort that can be glossed over easily.