Both tooth decay and periodontal disease can lead to significant complications with your oral health, especially during orthodontic treatment. This may require costly and time-consuming restorative treatment. In other words, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Orthodontic treatment often involves the use of appliances, both removable and nonremovable. Some of these appliances, like braces, can make brushing and floss much more difficult. If you want to ensure a beautiful smile after treatment, it is important to keep the teeth clean and develop proper hygiene habits while wearing braces.
Rinsing and Brushing
It is important to brush regularly because food debris can easily get lodged in and behind the brackets and wires. This can create potential pockets of decay. We recommend brushing the teeth and braces at least two times a day, preferably after meals, and especially before bed. Before you brush, you should rinse the mouth out with water to loosen food that may be caught in the braces.
Flossing helps to remove food debris, plaque, and bacteria from between the teeth and below the periodontal (gum) tissues. Flossing is a little more difficult with braces; however, there are many options that can help keep your gums healthy and pink. Be sure to floss once a day, using waxed floss or a product specifically designed to clean around your braces. The floss should be gently moved up and down the sides of the teeth before moving on to the next pair. Try not to snap the floss as this could cause the floss or your appliance to break.
There are certain foods and drinks that could potentially harm your teeth and gums while you undergo orthodontic treatment. For instances, sticky foods should be avoided to decrease your risk of damaging your appliance. Foods and drinks that are high in sugar should also be avoided because your teeth are more vulnerable to decay during treatment. If you do eat sugary foods, brush your teeth as soon as possible. A fluoride mouthwash can also be a useful tool. We also advise you avoid hard foods like pretzels, beef jerky, or candies to prevent damage to the wires or brackets.
Regular Exams and Cleanings
Regular exams and professional cleanings are crucial to your oral health. Every six months or so, you should visit your general dentist for a cleaning and a checkup. You should also schedule appointments with use every four weeks or so. During the appointment, Dr. Joseph R. Gregg will make any necessary adjustments, and point out areas that may need more attention.
If you damage or break your appliance, be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. We should be able to fix your appliance and get your treatment back on track in no time.
Schedule an AppointmentIf you would like to learn more about oral hygiene and orthodontics call (503) 489-4546, and schedule an appointment now!