Once you have had your braces fitted, it is very important you listen to your orthodontist’s instructions in relation to maintaining good oral hygiene. With fixed brace types such as metal braces, ceramic braces and even some forms of permanent retainers, cleaning your teeth becomes more difficult and, at the same time, more important. Here are some tips from iSmile Orthodontics to help you keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.
- Brush your teeth twice a day – your teeth may become more sensitive and prone to cavities or sores during your orthodontic treatment. Keeping them clean is the best way to minimise this risk. Additionally, if you do require dental treatment, this may prolong the time you need to wear your braces. We recommend you use a soft-bristled brush because your teeth and gums are particularly sensitive at this time. Make sure you clean not only above the line of the braces but also the narrow strip between the brackets and your gums. This can be neglected because of the awkward angle but make sure you are vigilant.
- Use an inter-dental brush – this will be provided to you by your orthodontist and is a small brush specifically designed to clean around the brackets and wires of braces and fixed retainers. Use it to dislodge all large particles of food before you commence your regular flossing and tooth brushing habits.
- Floss once a day – the braces do make this a little more awkward than usual but flossing is important for anyone wanting to maintain good oral hygiene. Make sure there is no food lodged between your teeth, especially common if you are undergoing your orthodontic treatment to fix gaps.
- Rinse – use an antiseptic dental mouthwash to rinse your mouth out after you have finished brushing your teeth. This will help clean the braces and kill any residual bacteria as well as soothing any sores caused by the metal wires and brackets. It is also advisable to rinse your mouth with water after every meal to quickly dislodge any food.
- Look in the mirror – always keep an eye on your teeth and smile. You can often catch sight of pieces of food or even inflamed gums by looking in a mirror. It can also allow you to note whether your teeth are experiencing any discolouration. If you notice something unusual, speak to your orthodontist.
- Have a professional cleaning every six months – return to your regular dentist in order for them to not only check on the teeth but also clean them. Although orthodontists are fully qualified dentists, it is unnecessary to return to iSmile for this simple procedure. It is also good for your regular dentist to see you throughout the orthodontic treatment process.
- Avoid food and drink which can stain teeth enamel – as the brackets of your braces are glued onto your teeth, this covered portion of each tooth does not get exposed to staining food such as coffee, red wine and berries. Excessive consumption throughout your orthodontic treatment, regardless of how often you brush, can lead to a noticeable different in the shade of your enamel once the braces are removed.
People with braces are more susceptible to oral health problem such as gum disease. It is therefore more important than ever that you brush your teeth twice a day, use mouthwash and follow all other advice your orthodontist gives you. That way, when your braces are removed, you will have a perfect, healthy smile to show for your time undergoing orthodontic treatment. To find out more and for specific advice relating to your braces, ask your orthodontist at your next appointment.