Oral Hygiene For Healthier Teeth While Wearing Dental Braces

13 Aug

Whether you are wearing Invisalign aligners or metal or ceramic dental braces, one thing is certain – keeping your teeth clean is harder now than it was before you got your dental braces. Because orthodontic treatment can make it more challenging to maintain good oral hygiene, the risk of bad breath, cavities and gingivitis is greater. These tips will help you minimize the issue and keep your mouth healthy throughout treatment.

Invisalign & Oral Hygiene

Invisalign has an advantage over traditional braces, and that is, the aligners are removable. People in treatment can remove the dental appliance to floss and brush after every meal. With traditional braces, this is not possible, and removing trapped food is more time consuming.

Nevertheless, Invisalign aligners have their own unique challenges. For example, since your teeth are covered by the aligners all day, their exposure to saliva is greatly decreased. Saliva helps keep your teeth clean and prevent cavities. The risk of cavities is slightly increased while wearing aligners. For this reason, it is important to always brush and floss after every meal, before replacing aligners back on, to ensure all foods and sugars are removed and harmful bacteria are reduced.

To make it easier to maintain top notch oral hygiene during Invisalign treatment, never leave home without your personal smile kit. This kit should include:

1. a case for holding the aligners while eating
2. toothbrush
3. toothpaste
4. floss
5. a small collapsible cup for rinsing with water

Your smile kit will help you keep your mouth clean and healthy during treatment.

Oral Hygiene Tips For People With Braces

Use An Electric Tooth Brush

Research by the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics shows that for people with braces, using an electric toothbrush is better than a manual toothbrush to maintain oral hygiene.

Electric toothbrushes are suitable for use with all types of dental braces (lingual, metal or ceramic).

Electric toothbrushes are simple to use, and come with instruction guides when purchased.

Some models offer built in timers, which are helpful in ensuring users brush for the full two minutes, as recommended by dentists and research bodies. Each quadrant or quarter of the of the mouth should be brushed for at least 30 seconds. That’s the upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right areas of the mouth. Without a timer, many people are not brushing in each quadrant of the mouth for the appropriate amount of time, and this can impact oral health.


Change Toothbrush Heads More Often

Dental appliances can cause more wear and tear on tooth brush bristles. When widely splayed or worn, the bristles do not clean as well. Therefore, be sure to change brush heads more often or when you notice wear to maintain good oral hygiene.


Use Proxa & Inter Dental Brushes

Your dentist may recommend different oral hygiene tools to be used during orthodontic treatment. Get familiar with them and use them. They may seem cumbersome at first, but within a week or two, it will be easier to use them, and they will help protect your oral health.


Floss

No really, be sure to floss. We know you hear it all the time, but the importance of flossing is even more important during orthodontic treatment. Flossing helps remove trapped food that can cause bacteria and plaque to build up, or cause gum or tooth issues.

Flossing with braces is a little different, and will take a little time to adjust, but the effort is worth it. Your orthodontic dentist or hygienist will show you the correct techniques to get under the wire that connects braces an under the archwire so that you can floss your teeth.

Ask to practice in front of them to ensure you are comfortable with the newly learned techniques before you leave the dental office.


Limit Hard, Sticky & Sugary Foods

To limit extra visits to the dentist for broken orthodontic wires during treatment, limit or avoid hard or sticky foods.

Sugary foods increase risk for cavities, and because oral hygiene is more challenging during dental treatment, it’s best to put down the sweets until the braces come off.


Keep Your Dental Cleaning & Check Up Appointments

Professional dental cleaning treatment can access tooth surface above and below the gumline that you can not access at home. Regular dental cleanings and checkups are important to oral health, and even more so during orthodontic treatment.

If any cavities or dental issues arise during treatment, catching them early often results in less costly and less invasive treatment.

For your best health, make and keep your regular appointments.


Toronto Orthodontics Treatment at Platinum Dental Care

Our dentists are trained in Invisalign and traditional orthodontics for children, teenagers and adults. Our office at Bathurst & Lawrence welcomes new patients for dental or orthodontic consultation. After your dental exam, we will provide treatment options and a treatment plan. We can also offer you payment plan options or submit your treatment estimate to your insurance provider. Because we offer both dental and orthodontic care, with extended evening and weekend hours, we make it easier to schedule the care you need.

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