Having good oral hygiene is important for everyone, and it’s especially vital when you have braces. Keeping your teeth and gums clean during your orthodontic treatment is extremely important because improper care and hygiene could lead to prolonged treatment and require more visits. Poor brushing can result in unattractive white spots, and even gum disease or tooth decay. When your braces come off, you want to be able to enjoy your new beautiful, dazzling smile – not deal with tooth decay!
So if you want to avoid any oral health problems and have your orthodontic treatment go as smoothly and quickly as possible, you’ll want to make your oral hygiene a priority. Here are some important oral hygiene tips to keep in mind while wearing braces:
1) Brush, brush, brush
You’ll want to brush after every meal (and before bed) to remove food debris and plaque from around your orthodontic appliances. You should be brushing at least three times a day, for at least two minutes each time. You should always use fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities, decay and decalcification. You can use a regular toothbrush or one with an orthodontic tip, but an electric one (like Sonicare) is even better. Remember, you may need to replace your toothbrush more often than usual, as braces can wear down the bristles quicker.
2) Make interdental brushes a habit
An interdental brush is a small brush used to clean between the teeth, and can be gently used to clean underneath and around your wires and braces where a regular toothbrush can’t reach. Use an interdental brush to remove large pieces of debris before brushing with your normal toothbrush. Use a mirror to check to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
3) Make floss your friend
Floss will help you remove the plaque buildup that your toothbrush can’t get. Braces can make flossing a little more challenging, so most likely need to use a floss threader to get the floss underneath the wire.
4) Always Finish with a Rinse
After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth carefully with water or an over-the-counter or prescription antiseptic mouth rinse to help reduce biofilm and gingivitis (gum inflammation) and minor irritations that can occur with braces.
5) Check yourself!
Remember to brush and floss in front of a mirror so you can make sure you’re getting the job done. Use your mirror to check behind your teeth. Also, try using plaque-disclosing tablets once a week so you can see if you’re missing any spots.
At Molen Orthodontics, we use Damon braces, which make oral care much easier because the wires are not required to be held in place by plaque-attracting colored rubber ties. We will also spend lots of one-on-one time with you at your first appointment, taking the time to review specific tips and tricks for keeping your teeth and braces looking and feeling their best. In addition, we will always provide refills on your oral hygiene supplies at each visit in order to provide you with the tools you need to keep your smile looking fantastic!
Remember, maintaining excellent oral hygiene when you have braces may take a little extra time and effort, but it will be more than worth it in the end! The team at Molen Orthodontics is here to help you get the most out of your treatment, and is happy to answer any questions you may have.