Although fixed orthodontic appliances (braces) tend to retain food debris and dental plaque, it is possible to maintain clean teeth and devices during orthodontic treatment by having a good dental hygiene and following some basic rules.
Orthodontic appliances as such do not cause tooth decay, decalcification or gum disease but can contribute to the retention of food particles and dental plaque.
Bacteria in dental plaque and tartar that are near the gum line will gradually cause inflammation in that area (redness and bleeding of the gums).
This will eventually promote gingival recession and can affect the bone that supports the teeth. The best way to avoid these problems is to break the chain reaction of bacteria as soon as possible by developing and maintaining good oral hygiene habits.