According to the American Association of Orthodontics, over four million people in the U.S. at any given time, are undergoing some form of orthodontic treatment. And even though having a mouth full of metal may make brushing your teeth and flossing more difficult, oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment is crucial!
Why is it so important to be diligent about maintaining a great oral hygiene regiment during your orthodontic treatment, you might ask?
The braces, wires, bands, and retainers trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Those food particles and plaque, if left, most likely will result in plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. Yikes!
Most orthodontists will, in fact, advise you against certain sticky, hard, or chewy foods altogether to avoid potential problems. However, even if these foods are avoided, cleaning your teeth is a must.
Here are some great tips to help with properly cleaning your teeth during orthodontic treatment:
1)Before you brush your teeth, rinse with water. This can prove to be useful because it can help loosen any food stuck in and around the braces.
2)Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth.
3)When brushing, make sure to brush every tooth at the gum line as well as above and below the brackets. This technique helps to reach the majority of the tooth’s surface and help to remove plaque and food debris.
4) Like always, make sure to clean between the teeth by FLOSSING! Flossing threaders are highly advisable, and making flossing with braces MUCH easier.
5) To further prevent cavities and bacteria growth, complete your oral hygiene regiment by rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse.