Dental Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is one of the main factors that affect the result of orthodontic treatments. According to one research, up to 96% of patients experience decalcification, gingivitis and caries, and other dental issues during the course of their orthodontic treatment.

Braces and other orthodontic installations create an environment that makes the wearer’s teeth prone to various dental issues. The wires and brackets typically have nooks and crannies that trap food particles and allow plaque buildup. So, while maintaining good oral hygiene is recommended for everyone, you need it even more if you’re currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. This post covers some basic things you should know about dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment.

Why Dental Hygiene Is Important During Orthodontic Treatment

The brackets and wires that make up your orthodontic devices have spaces between them. These tight gaps are perfect for food particles to hide. The risk of getting food particles trapped between your aligners and teeth is a risk even with invisible aligners. Plaque will build up on your teeth when these food particles are left for too long. This thin coating on your teeth (biofilm) contains harmful microorganisms. These bacteria produce acids that damage your teeth and gum in the long run. This is why maintaining good dental hygiene is essential during orthodontic treatment.

Failure to clean your teeth regularly (including the space between the brackets and your teeth) can lead to a wide range of dental issues, such as tooth decay, gum problems, mouth infections, bad breath, cavities, and so on. Staining or discoloration is another common side effect of poor dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Decalcification (loss of critical minerals, such as calcium, that keep the teeth healthy) is another common side effect of poor dental hygiene. It is characterized by unsightly white spots left on your teeth after the braces are removed.

The consequence of all of these is that people who get braces often end up needing additional dental treatment to correct the wide range of dental issues that arise after their initial orthodontist treatment. That’s not to mention the potential impacts of poor dental hygiene on the treatment itself. Not maintaining good oral health while your braces are on can impact the results you get when the braces come off. This is why knowing the dental hygiene tips to follow is of utmost importance to avoid future problems.

Tips For Keeping Your Teeth Healthy During Orthodontic Treatment

To care for your teeth and prevent oral issues that result from poor hygiene, follow the following tips during your orthodontist treatment.

Maintain a Braces-friendly Diet

The fact that you should avoid or limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks is common knowledge. It is a necessary precaution to prevent tooth decay and other related issues. The risks of eating these types of food become even more heightened when braces are installed on your teeth. They stick to your teeth for long periods and can cause severe issues in the long run.

In addition to avoiding starchy food, you should avoid hard or crunchy foods. These types of foods can loosen your braces or break them entirely. Typically, your orthodontists will give you a list of foods to avoid. But as a general rule, stay away from hard nuts, hard fruits (like carrots and apples), hard candy, and so on.

Brush Often and Floss Daily

Brushing regularly is a great way to eliminate food particles and prevent plaque buildup on your teeth. Patients who fail to brush during their orthodontic treatment often end up with tooth decay and gum disease. After getting braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times daily. Experts recommend doing this after each meal.

Braces make it difficult to brush and floss your teeth properly. However, you still need to do this because they help you get rid of food particles in hard-to-reach places. It would help if you used a floss threader on your teeth at least once daily. You can ask your orthodontist for tips on how to clean your teeth effectively during your orthodontist treatment.

Use a Mouthwash

One major advantage of using a mouthwash during orthodontist treatment is that it reaches places your brush and floss cannot reach effectively on their own. In addition to cleaning your teeth, mouthwash can also help re-mineralize teeth, solving the problem of decalcification, which is one of the biggest problems faced by people undergoing orthodontic care. Using mouthwash also protects your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease.

Generally, you should rinse your mouth with mouthwash before brushing and after you do so. Be sure to get a quality mouthwash recommended by your orthodontist. If you’re using invisible aligners, your toothpaste and mouthwash should not be colored, as these can change the appearance of your clear aligners.

Don’t Miss Appointments with Your Orthodontist

Regular dental clinic appointments are an integral part of your orthodontic treatment. It isn’t enough to follow essential care tips for your teeth. You also need to attend regular orthodontic checkups to ensure your teeth are in perfect health.

These dental office visits are primarily for tracking the progress of your treatment. However, the orthodontist will also inspect your teeth for signs of any issues and carry out preventive care to prevent any problems.

Tips For Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

  • Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay and also re-mineralizes the teeth.
  • Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle.
  • Brush along the gumline, spending roughly 10 seconds on each tooth before moving to the next one.
  • Brush gently with the toothbrush pressed firmly against your teeth. This way, the bristles spread into the gaps between your teeth and the wires.
  • Don’t just brush around the braces. Brush under the wires as well.
  • Avoid using whitening toothpaste when you have braces on. The whitening agent will only whiten the places it can reach. Since it cannot get under the braces, you will end up with uneven teeth color after the braces have been removed.


Getting the best result from your orthodontic treatment requires you to collaborate with your orthodontist. While we do an excellent job at OMG Smiles to install your braces properly, your dental hygiene depends on you. Pay attention to the dental hygiene tips covered in this post to protect your teeth during your orthodontic treatment.