Dental hygiene and orthodontics
Braces and dental hygiene
Good dental hygiene is essential when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment as you will be more susceptible to developing a dental problem than usual. This post will run through the basics, but if you have any questions just mention it to your Smilepod dentist at your next appointment and we can advice you.
Why it’s important
- When you are wearing braces you are more likely to get small pieces of food stuck in your teeth. This will lead to a build up of plaque that can cause problems such as bad breath, gum disease and dental cavities.
- If you wearing braces or a retainer you need to make sure that they are kept in good condition so they can work their magic and give you the smile of your dreams.
Looking after your braces
When you are cleaning your teeth with braces you need to be vigorous to remove unwanted plaque and careful not to damage your braces. Getting this balance right will take some practice and these tips should get you off to a good start:
- Try using a soft bristled tooth brush. These are better at getting into those hard to reach places than those with medium or hard bristles. Electric toothbrushes are fine to use, but be careful not to loosen any wires. If you are having trouble you could try a special toothbrush for braces.
- Start brushing your teeth three times a day- once after each meal- to make sure there are no bits of food stuck in your teeth or brace. If you’ve eaten and can’t brush your teeth, try rinsing your mouth thoroughly with water.
- Make sure you are taking the time to brush properly, we recommend 2-2.5 minutes. Using a timer can help you keep on track.
- Flossing can be a real challenge when you are wearing braces, but it’s extremely important to persist. Speak with your dentist for advice on flossing and to find out more about special flossing instruments you could use.
- Use disclosing tablets to check how thorough you’ve been. They will show any areas you’ve been missing.
- Watch what you are eating as some foods are more likely to get stuck in your teeth or damage your braces. Either avoid or take extra care when eating sticky or hard foods such as caramel or sweets.
Looking after your retainer
Removable retainers also need to be kept clean. You can use toothpaste and a toothbrush to do this, although, just like with braces, you need to be careful not to damage them. There are also some special cleaning solutions you can use but speak to your dentist about these. Don’t use hot water as it may distort the shape of your retainer.
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