Dental hygiene is important. Besides, how uncomfortable is that feeling? You know, having those minuscule and imperceptible food residues that stay between teeth after eating. But other than annoying, failing to clear the dirt makes it a breeding habitat for bacteria to reproduce.
So, if you picture in your mind these little natural spaces housing millions of bacteria in microscopic spots, it might shock you to imagine the ease of bacteria multiplying in entrenched nooks and crannies that come with braces and wires.
A standardized teeth cleaning routine might not be sufficient to clear all the debris and prevent orthodontic patients from plaque accumulation, tooth decay, or gum disease (periodontal disease) problems. This could ultimately affect the orthodontic treatment process and outcome.
Also, you don’t want to risk paying for a treatment that could lead to a bigger problem, do you? Despite how disastrous all of these sounds, the solution is simple and summarized in “oral hygiene compliance.”
In short, orthodontic care doesn’t have to be a problem but rather a solution to having outstanding oral hygiene levels. In fact, apart from enhancing bite functionality, orthodontic braces’ primary objective is to align teeth to make dental hygiene easier, once and for all.
So, we invite you to check up on this suggested routine to have clean and healthy effects on teeth on their way to becoming aesthetically spectacular. So, with no further introduction, let’s get this thing rolling.
How to Thoroughly Clean Your Teeth While Wearing Braces?
An orthodontist is like a Football Coach, he designs the game plan, but ninety percent of the job belongs to the players, or in this case, the patients. Therefore, an orthodontic plan’s success stands on “compliance” and “discipline.”
Therefore, patients during treatment must maintain exceptional oral hygiene that starts with a program we include as follows:
Tooth Brushing Practices
Patients ask how many times a day they must brush their teeth. Some reference sources state two times a day is enough. However, considering this small and new apparatus in our mouths, we recommend patients brush twenty minutes after every meal and avoid or limit snacking.
When brushing, we recommend our patients spend an extra thirty seconds per quadrant. Also, you can start with circular movements on the front teeth and back-and-forth movements on the occlusal area of the molars.
Then, patients must brush with up and down motions in small portions that cover the least teeth at a time. During the interval, they can spot any residues and brush the affected area again, clearing the dirt for proper brushing.
It might occur that even after many efforts, you can’t get rid of the dirt. So, then you must continue with the coming steps.
Patients might use different flossing utensils. Some of them work better for braces than others. So, we can divide this subtopic into Conventional, Self Threading, Interdental flossers, and Water Irrigators.
Using string floss is the first approach and a valid one. Cut a small four to five inches diameter portion of the thread you could easily handle. Floss between teeth above the wire on the lower dental arch and below the wire for teeth on the upper jaw.
Conventional flossing is not optimal for braces users, but it might help if you don’t have other flossing utensils at hand.
When it comes to reaching those spaces between the wire and the gums, self-threading flossers do the job.
A floss-threader is a plastic utensil that is both flexible and rigid. It helps the patient pass the dental floss between teeth and beneath the archwire. For example, with the floss threader, patients could clean behind the orthodontic wires.
Once the patient inserts the thread, the plastic ends make it easier to manipulate the waxy part of the threader, bending it to reach the rear-angled parts between teeth and gums.
This is our call; this is the best utensil to clean teeth after brushing. The interdental brush is a small utensil that looks like a toilet brush. The interdental brush has a small shaft on one side and scrubbing bristles on the other side.
To use it, grab the small handle with the thumb and index fingers for easy maneuverability. Then insert the head with the bristles between teeth and wires. Bristles help mechanically remove debris stuck on nooks between wires and teeth and at angles closer to the brackets.
We recommend you ask your dentist or hygienist, that will help you determine the proper size of your interdental tools for your teeth’ interdental space.
A water irrigator is a recommended tool to perfect your orthodontic hygiene routine. To activate the dental water jet, patients must direct the irrigator’s head to a zone they previously identified with stagnant food particles and press the jet button to unclog the area.
We’ve talked about the mechanisms to eliminate food particles and debris, but you might also control bacteria using an antiseptic and fluoridated mouthwash that helps reduce bacteria biofilm.
Periodic Dental Hygiene Visits
When having braces, dental clean-up visits are a must. Schedule periodic visits with a dental hygienist at least twice a year. Your dental professionals will remove dental plaques and control dental caries to reduce any possibility of dental decay development.
How to Keep Good Hygiene of Invisalign Trays?
One of the main advantages of Clear Alignment Appliances is that patients can practice their regular hygiene routine as if not having orthodontic treatment in course.
However, to avoid tartar accumulation, tooth decay, gum disease, and infections, patients must remove the appliances before eating and drinking. Also, we encourage patients to clean their appliances before placing them back in their mouths. Here we list some products you can use to keep your trays tidy.
Invisalign Cleaning Crystals
Rinse Invisalign trays in tap water, immerse them into a container with water, and add a packet of cleaning crystals. Shake the container for twenty seconds to dissolve the content and distribute the solution. Rinse the aligners again, and they will be ready to go.
Apply liquid soap to your aligners and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub all internal and external areas of your trays gently. Rinse them thoroughly, and you will be all set.
Vinegar or Baking Soda
Vinegar is a great option to sanitize your Invisalign trays. For every part of vinegar, add two parts of warm water in a container. Insert the aligners, soaking them for 15 minutes, then rinse them thoroughly to eliminate the vinegar taste before placing them back in your mouth
Orthodontist in Newburyport, Ma
At Pavlo Orthodontics, we make a lovely smile for you, and you make a difference in our world. Our exceptional service ensures patients an alluring, healthy, functional, and durable smile. Schedule an appointment and start the journey to a renewing experience.