It is important that you take good care of your teeth during your orthodontic treatment. By brushing and cleaning your teeth regularly you’ll keep your teeth and gums in top condition and ensure that your orthodontic treatment will deliver the healthiest, most beautiful smile in the shortest possible time. When your braces come off, you will see that your extra efforts have been rewarded with a healthy, great-looking smile that’s good for life.
Plaque is the enemy
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that collects on your teeth. It’s composed of bacteria, food debris and saliva. When plaque and trapped food are left on your teeth and around your braces they can cause cavities, swollen gums, bad breath, and permanent marks on your teeth.
When to Brush
You should brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal or snack. If you can’t brush right away after eating, be sure to at least rinse your mouth well with water until you can brush. Carry a travel toothbrush so that you can brush when away from home. At least once every day clean between your teeth with dental floss, then brush your teeth and braces thoroughly until they are spotlessly clean. The best time of the day to thoroughly clean your teeth and braces is at night, before you go to bed.
How to Brush
Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush or electric toothbrush that’s in good condition. Toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads should be changed at the first sign of wear or at least every 3 months.
Brush around all the parts of your braces and every surface of your teeth - fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces for a least 2 minutes. In addition, be sure to brush your gums, tongue and roof of the mouth, gently and thoroughly, then rinse with water or a mouth wash.
A good way to tell if you are brushing correctly is if your braces look clean and shiny and you can see the edges of the brackets clearly.
How to Clean Between Your Teeth
Floss every night before you go to bed. If you use regular floss, it might be necessary to use what’s called a floss threader. This reusable tool allows you to get dental floss behind your archwires easily. Another more convenient option is pre-threaded floss.
Either way, be sure you clean carefully along and under the gum line; and as with anything new, a little practice will make it go a lot easier.
Other Hygiene Helpers and Aids to Keep your Teeth Clean:
Interproximal Brush: This tool slips behind your archwire to help you remove plaque and food particles around your braces and between teeth.
Fluoride Toothpaste and Fluoride Rinse: Use fluoride toothpaste as part of your cleaning routine. For the best results, use a fluoride rinse with your interproximal brush to deliver maximum fluoride protection to your teeth.
Electric Toothbrush: These devices are designed to make brushing easier and more efficient and may be helpful during your orthodontic treatment.
The Problems That Poor Oral Hygiene Can Cause
Good dental hygiene is critical during orthodontic treatment. Without it, plaque and food can accumulate around your braces. The bacteria in plaque react with sugars and starches in food you eat and form an acid that can eat away the enamel on your teeth, leading to permanent white marks, cavities or gingivitis.
The white marks left on your teeth around your braces are called decalcifications
and these marks will remain on your teeth for life. The best way to avoid decalcification and cavities is to not let them develop at all.
Accumulated plaque also irritates the gums, making them red, puffy or swollen. They may bleed when you brush or floss. This is called gingivitis. This is reversible with professional help and good home care, but if it is ignored it can get worse and lead to gum disease.
Gum disease is usually painless, so you need to pay attention to signs like bleeding or swollen and puffy gums.
Partnership: You, Cohen Orthodontics and Your Dentist
Successful orthodontic treatment - a healthy and beautiful smile - is the result of a team effort that involves Cohen orthodontics, your dentist and you, the patient. Cohen Orthodontics provides the expertise, the treatment plan and the techniques to straighten your teeth and align your jaws. Your dentist helps make sure that your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy. You, as the patient, play the key part; you must cooperate by following your dentist’s and Dr. Cohen’s instructions carefully, this allows your teeth and jaws to move in the way desired and on the prescribed schedule.
Because dental hygiene is so important, regular visits to see your dentist must continue every six months during your orthodontic treatment (or more often, if recommended).
Proper dental care will take a little extra time and effort, however, it is well worth it.
Contact Us Today
The first step to a beautiful/healthy smile is to schedule your FREE personal consultation with Cohen Orthodontics.
For your convenience, Dr. Cohen offers no-down payment and low monthly payment arrangements. In addition, we accept VISA and MasterCard.
If there are any questions which you might have, or if we may be of any further assistance, please feel free to call us anytime.
We Serve Boca Raton, Coral Springs & the Surrounding Areas & Look Forward to Helping You with Your Orthodontic Needs