Good oral hygiene is a crucial part of overall health, especially when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Without it, gum disease, tooth decay and demineralization can take place. In fact, gum disease has been linked to major health concerns from preterm labor to heart disease. When you have braces, it’s even more important to keep those pearly whites, well, pearly white. Why? If oral health declines too much, it could cause a delay in your treatment as there would be a need to really clean the teeth and allow the gums to heal.
Because oral hygiene is so crucial, we have a few steps to follow to keep those shiny teeth (and your brackets) as clean as ever.
Brush, brush, brush.
Brushing your teeth 2-3 times per day can help stave off plaque, keep food particles from stowing away in the crevasses, and keep your breath fresh. It’s important to brush the top, front, and underside of the brackets because there are lots of hiding places. There are lots of toothbrush options, including travel brushes that store easily in a backpack or purse for that mid-day cleaning. If anything, brushing helps you feel confident about showing off those awesome band colors you chose!
Flossing can’t be beat.
Floss threaders can be found at any drug store. Tie on the floss and then use the threader to pull in through your teeth above your wire so you can get the floss where it needs to be. The other option and a favorite around our office are the flosser picks for braces. They are little flossing picks with a thinner side that slides between braces and teeth. You can even take them on the go to ensure any stubborn food particles are removed before they wreak havoc on your gums and enamel. A WaterPik is also a help to remove stubborn food particles, massage gums, and keep things clean; however, it doesn’t replace actual floss.
What if you are away from your house without the ability to brush or floss? Pop in some sugar-free gum. It will help get a lot of the food to dislodge and stimulate saliva (that’s good for your mouth) until you can get back to your brush!
If you have more questions about oral health during orthodontic treatment, call us at 970-226-5505.