Happy Dental Health Week – Here are a few ways on how you can maximise your oral health during orthodontic treatment.
Oral hygiene is the key to ensuring a healthy future for your teeth. During your orthodontic treatment, your normal hygiene routine may need to be adjusted to accommodate the appliances used.
For Dental Health Week 2019, the Australian Dental Association has provided us with important information that can help you to maximise your oral health. ADA has heaps of resources available to help you keep your oral health inline during orthodontic treatment.
Manual Vs Electric Toothbrush
One of the most commonly asked questions within dentistry is, “Are electric toothbrushes better than manual?” Both styles of toothbrushes can achieve similar results and keep your teeth nice and clean.
A soft bristle toothbrush with a small and flexible head is the most effective at removing food debris without damaging your tooth enamel or gums.
An electric toothbrush can achieve similar results and is often recommended for patients who have limited dexterity.
To achieve the best results when you clean your teeth, angle your toothbrush 45-degrees and brush in a circular motion and clean the gum line first. Next clean your braces and then behind the wires as you slowly work around the entire arch. Also remember to clean the inside surfaces of your teeth, down to the gum line around your entire mouth. It is important to pay special attention to cleaning behind the brackets and wires to remove all traces of food and plaque.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay, bleeding gums and bad breath. To prevent this from occurring when wearing braces, good oral hygiene needs to be maintained. You need to brush at least twice per day (after breakfast and dinner) for at least three minutes, and rinse after lunch if you are unable to brush at the time.
Choosing the correct toothpaste can often be a long process especially with all the different types on the market. It is recommended that you choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
But why Fluoride?
Fluoride can help strengthen your teeth, making them more resistant to attacks from sugar and acid, therefore offering protection against decay.
People tend to skip flossing as it isn’t regarded as important. Did you know, “that nearly half of the surface area of your teeth lies between them”? (ADA 2019). Flossing is not optional and should be part of your daily routine.
Flossing can not only help to remove plaque between your teeth, but it can also help prevent tooth decay. If left unattended, it can aid the breeding of bacteria between your teeth and eventually, result in tooth decay.
Start by threading the floss underneath the archwire, then firmly grasp both ends of the floss and slide it down between the contact points of the teeth into the gum. Gently move the floss up and down, in and out to remove the plaque out of these areas. When you have cleaned both sides of the teeth forming the contact point, remove the floss and sequentially work your way around the entire mouth.
Orthodontic Treatment and Oral Hygiene
It is crucial to maintain oral health throughout your life in order to retain your smile. It is also vital that oral hygiene is not neglected throughout the duration of orthodontic treatment. While the appearance of your smile will be corrected during orthodontic treatment, it is also important to note that this treatment can help to increase the health of your oral condition. To assist this correction, it is important to maintain a strict oral hygiene routine, so your new smiles’ health can match its aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Here at Ortho3, our team is always happy to answer your questions and help you with your oral health especially during orthodontic treatment. We encourage you to contact us so we can help you get on the correct path. Don’t forget that the Australian Dental Association has a range of resources available.