Starting your orthodontic journey is a great commitment to preserving your overall oral health. But all of this hard work towards a brighter smile means nothing if you ignore your oral hygiene. Maintaining good oral hygiene with braces is an essential part of the process, but you might not know how to care for your teeth now.
At Bailey Orthodontics in Farmington and Bountiful, we understand just how important your oral health is to ensure the best outcome possible with your braces. If you are about to get braces or have just gotten braces and want to know how to maintain good oral hygiene, we’ve compiled several tips to guarantee that your teeth look and feel their best.
The Importance of Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene with Braces
Maintaining good oral hygiene with braces is crucial to preventing dental issues and ensuring overall oral health while you are going through the orthodontic process. Braces create small, difficult-to-reach places where food particles and plaque may get trapped easily. Without good oral hygiene with braces, you may find yourself dealing with tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
If you neglect your oral hygiene during the orthodontic treatment process, you may notice permanent enamel damage and discoloration. Additionally, without proper oral hygiene with braces, you may experience inflamed gums. This inflammation may prolong the orthodontic process as adjustments become more challenging.
Poor oral care may also cause white spots or cavities around brackets, compromising the aesthetic outcome of your treatment. Ultimately, if you want your teeth to look their very best at the end of your treatments, it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene with braces. Thankfully there are several easy ways to care for your teeth throughout this process.
1. Brush Your Teeth Thoroughly
Brushing your teeth is the foundation of good oral hygiene with braces. When choosing a toothbrush, opt for a soft-bristled brush. Using a soft bristle brush helps prevent damage to your braces and enamel while ensuring an effective cleaning. You should also remember to use a fluoride toothpaste to help remineralize your teeth. Brush after every meal and before bedtime, paying close attention to the gum line and the area around your brackets and wires to ensure a comprehensive clean. Make sure to angle your hand and toothbrush to get the bristles all the way around the bracket.
2. Don’t Forget the Floss
Flossing can be tricky, but it is a crucial part of maintaining good oral hygiene with braces. With a good flossing technique, you can prevent plaque buildup and cavities. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or orthodontic floss to gently guide the floss between the wires and around each tooth, making sure to reach beneath the gum line. Be patient as you floss, and take your time to ensure you remove as much plaque and food debris as possible.
3. Invest in Interdental Brushes
Interdental brushes, commonly known as Christmas Tree brushes, are a small but mighty tool that reaches the nooks and crannies between your brackets and wires, making them an important part of a good oral hygiene routine with braces. By incorporating these brushes into your routine, you can enhance your cleaning routine and target areas that traditional brushing might miss. To use an interdental brush, insert the brush between the brackets and wires, gently moving it back and forth to remove plaque and debris. This should be done after brushing and flossing for the best results.
4. Remember to Rinse
Make sure to incorporate high-quality mouthwash into your routine to ensure the best results for your teeth. When choosing a mouthwash, look for a product that is antimicrobial or fluoride to reduce bacteria, strengthen enamel, and leave your mouth feeling fresh. Use this rinse after brushing, flossing, and using interdental brushes. This should help remove any final plaque or residue left in your mouth and is a great way to maintain good oral hygiene with braces.
5. Dietary Considerations
Your dietary choices play a substantial role in your oral hygiene with braces. When you first get braces, your orthodontic team will tell you which foods to avoid to protect this investment. It is important to avoid the foods they tell you to avoid, such as sticky and sugary foods, popcorn, pretzels, and crackers. Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to support overall oral health. Remember to cut crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, to avoid problems such as broken brackets and wires which could prolong your treatment.
6. Schedule Regular Visits with Your Orthodontists
Seeing your orthodontist during the orthodontic process isn’t just about getting the necessary adjustments. At your routine appointments with your orthodontic team, they can assess your oral health and alert you to any problems they notice. If you are having a hard time brushing, flossing, or using interdental brushes, these appointments offer a great opportunity to seek advice from the team.
Care for Your Teeth with Bailey Orthodontics
Maintaining good oral health with braces can be a major commitment, but the payoff is a bright, shining smile. By following these tips, you can avoid several challenges of orthodontic treatment with confidence. At Bailey Orthodontics, we offer blogs, resources, and virtual options to help patients of all backgrounds and ages avoid many common orthodontic challenges. We want to ensure your investment in braces is protected.
Our team at our Bountiful and Farmington offices is prepared to answer any questions you have, so don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns. To learn more about financing options, what services we offer, and how to take care of your braces, head to our website.