How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy During Orthodontic Treatment
Regardless of age, everyone needs to invest in keeping their mouth clean and healthy. Oral hygiene keeps your mouth in good shape, eliminates foul odor, and prevents several tooth diseases. Despite its many benefits, orthodontic treatment can increase the risk of tooth decay and plaque build-up. Dental braces and Invisalign cover up parts of the teeth and encourage bacteria growth in the hidden mouth corners.
To avoid these dental maladies, oral hygiene should have greater priority during orthodontic treatments. When you have metal braces, invisible aligners or retainers on, basic oral hygiene is not enough. You must go the extra mile to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout the entire treatment.
Here are a few tips to follow for a healthier and more appealing smile:
1. Brush Your Teeth Regularly
As basic as this may sound, brushing your teeth regularly and correctly during your orthodontic treatment is essential. With orthodontic devices, your teeth stain more easily, which may cause cavities to develop due to food particles trapped behind the devices. It's much easier to continue brushing normally with removable aligners like Invisalign. But for traditional braces, you may have to come up with a few tricks to tackle the challenges of brushing your teeth with braces.
Use Interdental Brushes
These are also known as interproximal brushes. An interdental brush is a special toothbrush designed to reach areas of your teeth that are difficult for traditional toothbrushes. As the name implies, they can remove food particles from spaces in between teeth. An interdental brush also works effectively to clean teeth covered in braces, as it can get between the brackets and wires for intense and efficient cleaning.
However, when brushing with interdental brushes, you should not force the toothbrush between spaces between your teeth. You should get the proper brush based on the size of your teeth and brackets. For better comfort, you can start with rubber interdental brushes.
You get better results when you use an interdental brush before your conventional toothbrush. With dental devices, brush your teeth twice daily at a 45-degree angle for best results. You should stick to your usual brushing routine but brushing your teeth after eating is also recommended. Replace toothbrushes more frequently because they wear out faster during orthodontic treatment.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Your toothpaste needs to be abrasive enough to get rid of plaque without hurting your teeth' enamel. Fluoride toothpaste is designed to clean out stains without damaging your orthodontic device. Some fluoride-rich toothpaste is specially formulated for sensitive teeth. These varieties are good for patients that suffer from sensitive teeth after the installation of teeth braces.
2. Use Mouthwash
A good mouthwash should be part of your oral hygiene kit. The liquid provides additional protection to your teeth and remineralizes them. Rinsing your teeth with mouthwash washes out particles out of reach of your toothbrush and floss. The process kills bacteria, removes plaque, and reduces gum inflammation.
However, you should avoid alcoholic mouthwashes when you have braces on. Also, if you are wearing clear aligners, colored mouthwashes are not recommended, as they may change the color of your aligner and make it lose clarity.
3. Floss Regularly
It might be more difficult to floss your teeth with orthodontic devices. Regardless, flossing is an excellent dental hygiene habit you cannot afford to quit. You should floss your teeth at least once daily during your orthodontic treatment. It helps to remove plaque from the corners of your mouth beyond the reach of your toothbrush. One method that works great during orthodontic treatment is using a floss threader. Dentists also recommend wax floss because it glides easily between your teeth. Most flossing products are not expensive and can be found readily in pharmacies and most grocery stores.
4. Avoid Certain Foods
Some foods are bad for your orthodontic device. Hard and crunchy food can displace braces, get stuck in wires and even break the brackets. Similarly, sticky and chewy food is detrimental to the devices too. Sugary food like candy should be avoided because it increases the risk of cavities. The list of foods to prevent is longer with traditional braces since you cannot remove them before meals. With Invisalign, you have more freedom to eat whatever you want as long as you remove the aligner before each meal and clean your mouth after each meal.
5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Pay regular visits to your dentist. Just because you have a sound oral hygiene routine is no excuse to skip appointments with your dentist. During your visit to the orthodontic clinic, experts can easily catch gum and teeth diseases and problems with your orthodontic treatment using advanced equipment. This ensures they can take quick corrective steps before the situation degenerates further. It'll save you from unnecessary pain, discomfort, and additional cost. Not missing your appointments ensures that your teeth stay healthy throughout your treatment.
Why Should You Keep Your Teeth Healthy During Orthodontic Treatment?
During orthodontic treatment, specialists use braces, Invisalign, and other corrective tools to apply the right amount of pressure to your teeth. However, since the teeth shift slowly, the corrective process can take as long as two years to obtain the perfect alignment. The teeth and gums need to be healthy throughout the duration of this treatment for a successful treatment. Fragile teeth may not be able to withstand the pressure of dental fixtures. They may crack during the process and setback your treatment by several months or even lead to more severe consequences. Also, your gums need to be tough enough to properly support your teeth at the end of the treatment. These and many other reasons prove the importance of prioritizing dental care during orthodontic treatment.
Good dental hygiene prevents tooth decay, discoloration, and other oral diseases that may make your treatment longer than necessary. A good oral care routine during orthodontic treatment keeps your teeth healthy and clean. Remember to be gentle and careful with your teeth as you keep them clean. As part of your consultation and treatment with our orthodontists in Waterbury, they'll give you more tips and recommendations to keep your teeth in good shape throughout the duration of your treatment. Contact OMG Smiles today to schedule a session with our experts and discuss the details of your treatment to help you get that perfect dazzling smile you have always wanted.