Oral Hygiene With Braces
If your oral hygiene was lacking before you received braces, it is time to improve your practices. It is an unfortunate fact, but without the proper maintenance, braces can put you at a greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Our job here at Happy Dental & Orthodontics is to ensure you receive safe and effective orthodontic treatment. When it comes to oral hygiene and braces, patient education is the best way to achieve this goal.
The Components of Braces
Traditional metal braces generally consist of three parts: the brackets, the wire, and the elastic bands. Each one of these components works in tandem to slowly move your teeth to their proper position. However, each one of these components can also trap food debris and bacteria, resulting in plaque buildup without the proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Plaque buildup is responsible for the two most common oral health problems, tooth decay, and gum disease. Removing plaque buildup from around the brackets and elastic bands is an important part of caring for your braces. Taking better care of your braces can ensure a more comfortable and successful experience.
Brushing With Braces
Before you brush your teeth and appliance, be sure to take out any removable components like additional elastics. Next, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush around the brackets, elastic bands, and wire. It is important to take your time during this process to ensure you remove all plaque, bacteria, and food debris from your appliance.
Next, be sure to brush your actual teeth as well. Focus on each tooth individually, moving the brush in a circular motion. You will use this same motion for every area of your tooth, including the front, back, and occlusal (bite) surfaces.
Flossing With Braces
Flossing with braces presents its own set of unique challenges. The brackets and wires can make it much more difficult to reach the areas in between your teeth. For this reason, we usually provide a special type of floss that is easier to thread between the appliance and your teeth.
Generally speaking, you only need to floss once a day. Flossing at the end of the day can ensure that any food debris and bacteria does not sit in between your teeth overnight. While major damage in one night is impossible, these areas can serve as breeding grounds for bacterial growth and gum disease without regular cleanings.
Regular orthodontic checkups are an essential part of treatment with braces. Not only do they allow us to tighten the wire (putting the pressure on your teeth that causes them to move), they also allow us to monitor your oral health. Routine appointments allow us to diagnose any minor instances of tooth decay or gum disease before they develop into major complications.
If we do notice any signs of oral health problems, we may recommend an appointment with your general dentist. Dr. Christian Silva DDS can also review the proper brushing and flossing techniques, to prevent any further damage. These appointments are an excellent opportunity for you to voice any concerns and ask questions.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you are in need of a routine checkup or have any hygiene-related questions, our team is happy to help! Call 470-922-5500 to schedule an appointment today!