Orthodontic treatment is a very special type of dental treatment. Because of the duration of treatment, conditions in the mouth change radically and require a change of routine. It is quite customary for patients to have more questions about upkeep and daily hygiene when they are wearing an orthodontic brace. This article gives us 5 tipson what to do to make sure the appliance is working well and teeth remain healthy. Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment are always considered at high risk for cavities, so I’ve added a few extra words of wisdom from our experiences in the field.
Tip 1: Floss twice a day
Flossing may become more difficult when wearing braces, especially at first. However, food detritus can become stuck in the braces, and more plaque accumulates since there are more nooks and crannies for plaque and tartar, the breeding ground of oral bacteria, to hide in. This is why it is very important to floss more than usual. Flossing twice a day should be enough to keep the nasty bacteria at bay.
Tip 2: Brush teeth after every meal.
For the same reason that flossing should happen more frequently, the number of times you brush should also increase. If you brush after every meal to keep the likelihood of plaque formation low.
Tip 3: Use elastics
Elastics are very cumbersome, and often the person wearing them might not even feel the difference when they are on or off. However except when eating or brushing, the elastics need to be worn. Sometimes patients feel like a rubber band coming off is no big deal, and can wait to be replaced. This is not the case, and even a short period of time without elastics may be enough for the treatment to be prolonged.
Tip 4: Dealing With Damage
Even if a brace is worn in the manner prescribed, damage may occur to the device. This can be because of faulty production of the brace itself, trauma to the mouth or teeth, or any number of events beyond our control. Usually this damage will manifest in a bracket coming off or of the archwire coming loose. Not good. Should any damage at all occur, call your dentist immediately and book an appointment to have it seen. If the dentist cannot see you immediately, consider purchasing some orthodontic wax and use that to cover the pointy areas to prevent damage to the surrounding sensitive tissues. Make sure you use mouthwash or some other rinse frequently to avoid infections.
Tip 5: What not to eat
Certain foods should be avoided for the entirety of your orthodontic treatment. Toffee, jerky, soft candies, gels, and foods with high sugar content should not be eaten. Soft sugary foods, prone to sticking in hard to clean places, can increase the risk of cavities. Hard, unforgiving foods can cause damage, loosening the brackets or the wire and prevent the appliance from properly doing its job.