When you have braces, it’s more important than ever to focus on oral hygiene. After your orthodontic treatment is over, you want to see a straight, healthy smile when you look in the mirror, so it’s vital to make teeth cleaning a priority on a daily basis. Even though you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you still have control over the health of your teeth and gums.
Why Are Brushing and Flossing So Important?
Your teeth’s primary enemy is plaque. When food gets stuck on your teeth, it feeds the formation of plaque, a sticky coating that contains bacteria and puts you at risk of developing cavities and gum disease. If plaque isn’t removed within a few days, it hardens into tartar. Tartar will make your teeth look yellow, and you won’t be able to brush it away — it has to be scraped off by your dentist.
It’s easy for food particles to get caught in the wiring and brackets of your braces. You have to stay extra vigilant with both brushing and flossing so you don’t develop gum disease or cavities.
Your Home Care Routine
Make sure you brush your teeth twice each day. Take off your elastics beforehand. Position the brush at a 45-degree angle against the gums and use a gentle circular motion, brushing the gumline as well as the braces. Using an electric toothbrush may help, since it will help ensure you reach under the wire and around each bracket. An interdental toothbrush may also help you keep this area of your enamel clean.
You should floss at least once each day. While it may be difficult when you have braces, you can find special flossing products that make it easier. Our Plewe Orthodontics team can also help you perfect your flossing technique for maximum efficiency.
Visiting Your Dentist
You already visit your orthodontist on a regular basis. Do you still have to see your dentist every six months? Yes!
Dental care is just as essential as always, even when you’re in the middle of orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist focuses on improving your teeth alignment, but your dentist’s main goal is to maintain your oral health through exams and cleanings. Orthodontic treatment doesn’t replace dental care — your orthodontist and your dentist work as a team.
Your Diet Matters Too
During orthodontic treatment, certain foods simply aren’t good for your teeth. Hard candy and nuts can bend wires. Sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck on your braces. Try to avoid foods that you have to bite into, like corn on the cob or apples — cut them up instead.
You should also avoid sugary foods and drinks that can contribute to tooth decay. Limit your soda and sweets intake. Also, don’t chew on hard, non-food items like your fingernails, the end of a pencil or ice chips. Not only could they damage your braces, you could chip or crack a tooth, too.
Trust Our Caring Team
Oral hygiene is easy to maintain when you have a winning team supporting you every step of the way! Plewe Orthodontics will help you focus on your oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment, ensuring your teeth and gums stay healthy.