Taking good care of your teeth is important all the time, but especially when you are in orthodontic treatment. Your treatment can only be effective if your teeth are healthy. Brushing and flossing regularly can ensure your smile remains healthy enough to achieve ideal results.
When you are in treatment, you play a key role in the success of your treatment. If you do not keep up your end of the deal by brushing and flossing regularly, you may impact your end result.
Caring for your teeth while in braces does take a bit more time. If you wear more traditional braces, you have to brush and floss around brackets and wires. We promise the results will be well worth the extra time you put in daily to your oral care routine. Not only can poor oral hygiene during treatment affect your end results, it can result in white spots on your teeth. If your teeth become discolored due to lack of care, once the brackets are removed, you will notice this area is whiter than the rest of your smile. But it is easy to avoid these issues with a bit of extra time and care.
Plaque build-up is what you are trying to avoid. Plaque is the sticky, colorless film that builds up on the teeth. It is composed of a combination of saliva, food particles, and bacteria. Plaque build-up can lead to bad breath, as well as cavities, gum disease, and permanent markings on your teeth. Brushing regularly, and especially after meals, can remove this plaque before it can become harmful enough to cause damage to your smile.
We recommend brushing every time after you eat; whether it is a full meal or just a snack. This routine ensures you are brushing away any food debris that could otherwise remain and cause damage. We recommend carrying a travel toothbrush and toothpaste with you at all times. If you absolutely cannot brush after eating, be sure to rinse your mouth well with water.
Paying close attention to your oral care routine during your orthodontic treatment may take some time, but it will be well worth the results in the end. It may take a bit of time to get used to brushing and flossing around your brackets and wires, but in no time, you will be a pro
We recommend the following to keep your oral care routine strong:
- Use a fluoride toothpaste for added defense against decay and gum disease. Fluoride helps keep your enamel strong.
- Use a soft-bristled brush and be sure to change it regularly. You may find that your braces wear down your toothbrush faster so be sure you pay attention to when it is. time for a new one.
- Take your time, especially in the beginning when you are learning how to care for your braces. Be sure you take the time to carefully brush around the entire bracket. Your braces should look clean and shiny after each cleaning.
- Remember to brush your tongue. Bacteria and other things can remain on your tongue and spread to your teeth, so remember to brush your tongue, too.
- Remember to floss at least once a day.
Flossing should be a part of your everyday routine all the time, but especially while in orthodontic treatment. We know it can seem impossible to floss under your wires, but we promise with a bit of practice, it will be easy in no time.
- Floss each night before bed. This routine will allow you to take your time and floss carefully
- Utilize a floss threader, which can make it easier to get the floss under the wire.
- Floss between your teeth and at your gum lines.
- Invest in a water flosser, which can be added power to keep your teeth and gums clean.
- Practice makes perfect. The more you floss with braces, the easier it will become.
While brushing and flossing are your primary tools while in treatment, there are a few other tools that might make keeping your smile clean easier.
- Interproximal brushes slip under the archwires to more effectively remove plaque and food particles near the brackets
- Prescription fluoride products may be recommended to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
- Waterpiks can make brushing easier and more efficient.
It is also important to maintain regular visits with your primary dentist throughout treatment. That way if a problem arises, he or she can help you correct it before it worsens and impact your treatment time.