01 Nov Braces, Dental Hygiene And You: A Complete Guide To Proper Care
Maintaining good dental hygiene is always important, but it becomes even more crucial if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Your braces can make it harder to clean your teeth and gums effectively, so it’s important to take extra care to ensure that your oral health is protected during this time.
Dental Hygiene & Orthodontic Care
Good oral hygiene is essential at every stage of life, and it becomes essential when you have braces. Braces can make it more challenging to keep your teeth and mouth clean, as food particles and bacteria can easily become trapped in the wires and brackets. To avoid problems like disease, decay, and infections, it’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly to remove plaque buildup.
When you have braces, it’s especially important to be diligent about brushing and flossing to increase your chances of having a healthy smile and white teeth free of plaque and tartar when your braces come off. This may mean taking a little more time to carefully floss between your teeth and avoid getting the string stuck in your braces.
Before starting orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will assess your mouth to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy and free from any infections. If an infection develops during treatment, the orthodontist will need to stop treatment until the infection is resolved. By taking good care of your teeth and gums while you have braces, you can help ensure that your oral health stays on track.
What should I know about caring for my braces?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is just as important when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment as it was before you got braces. This means brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly. The only thing that will change slightly is the method you use to brush and floss with braces. It may take some time to get used to this new technique, but it should not be difficult.
To ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy while you have braces, we recommend brushing at least three or four times a day. It will take some extra time and effort to reach all the nooks and crannies around your braces, but it is worth it to maintain good oral hygiene.
What if I’m unable to brush (at school, work, etc.)?
If you are unable to brush your teeth after eating a snack or having lunch, it is important to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to remove any bits of food that may have become stuck around your wire or brackets. This can help prevent problems like tooth decay and gum disease. While it is best to brush your teeth after every meal, if that is not possible, be sure to brush and floss at a minimum in the morning and night. This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment.
Which type of toothbrush should I use?
When it comes to brushing your teeth, you can choose between a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. Both types of brushes are effective at cleaning your teeth and removing plaque and food particles, but some people may prefer one over the other. If you are not sure which type of brush to use, you can try both and see which one works best for you.
Regardless of which type of brush you use, be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly. Pay special attention to areas around your braces and in between your teeth. If you use a manual toothbrush, it is important to change it regularly to ensure that it continues to clean effectively.
If you have any questions or concerns about brushing with braces, don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist or dentist for advice. They can help you choose a brush that is suitable for your needs and your orthodontic treatment.
Can my orthodontist tell me if I don’t brush?
Yes, it is essential to brush your teeth properly when you have braces. Plaque can accumulate on the gum line and around the brackets of your braces, and if it is not removed effectively through brushing, it can lead to problems like cavities and gum infections. Your orthodontist will be able to tell if you are not brushing properly, and plaque can also stain your teeth, which will be visible when your braces are removed. To ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy during orthodontic treatment, it is important to brush your teeth thoroughly and regularly.
Your Oral Hygiene Plan for Braces
Maintaining good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment is important to ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. Here is a step-by-step plan to follow:
1. Brush Your Teeth & Braces
To maintain good oral hygiene while you have braces, it is important to brush your teeth after each meal or snack. You can use a manual or electric toothbrush, and it is best to choose a toothpaste or fluoride gel rather than whitening toothpaste. Fluoride helps to protect your tooth enamel and can be used with manual and electric toothbrushes. Avoid using whitening toothpaste while you have braces, as it will only work on the surfaces of your teeth that it touches and will not reach under the brackets.
To brush your teeth with braces, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the top of the brackets. Begin by brushing the top teeth, using a small circular motion to clean your teeth, wires, and brackets. Be sure to brush the flat surfaces and the inside of your top teeth. Next, repeat the same process on the bottom arch. If you cannot remove all food particles with your toothbrush, you can use an interdental brush to reach any small gaps that your toothbrush misses. By following these steps, you can help keep your teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment.
To floss your teeth with braces, start by wrapping about 20 cm of floss around your index fingers. Then, carefully thread the floss between your teeth and the wire of your braces. Gently move the floss between your teeth and into the gum line, using firm pressure to remove any food particles or plaque. Be sure to floss all of your teeth, including the back molars, which can be harder to reach with a toothbrush. If you are having difficulty flossing with traditional floss, you can try using a water flosser or floss threader to help get the floss between your teeth and around your braces. By flossing regularly, you can help maintain good oral hygiene and protect your teeth and gums during orthodontic treatment.
3. Look Closely at Your Teeth & Braces
After brushing and flossing, it is important to take a close look at your teeth to ensure that all food and plaque have been removed. To do this, you can use a mirror to examine each tooth and look for any food particles or plaque that may have been missed. After checking your teeth, be sure to also examine your wires and brackets to confirm that none of them are loose or broken. If you notice any problems, such as a loose or broken wire or bracket, it is important to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible to have it repaired. By regularly checking your teeth and braces, you can help ensure that your orthodontic treatment is successful and that your teeth and gums stay healthy.
If you are experiencing discomfort or irritation due to your braces, it may be because your wires or brackets are rubbing against the inside of your mouth. To address this issue, you can try smoothing a small amount of wax over the part of your braces that is causing the discomfort. This can help to reduce friction and provide some relief. If the irritation continues, however, it is important to call your orthodontist for further advice.
They may be able to adjust your braces to help alleviate the discomfort or provide you with other solutions to address the issue. By addressing irritation or discomfort promptly, you can help ensure that your orthodontic treatment is successful and comfortable.
Do you have questions about caring for your braces, how you can prevent dental issues during orthodontic treatment, and dental hygiene overall? Contact Taunton Orthodontics in Whitby. We look forward to helping your treatment stay on track and achieve a healthy aligned smile!