Oral Hygiene

Maintaining optimal oral hygiene is essential during the orthodontic treatment. Residues of food and plaque accumulate on the teeth much easier when brackets or removable mechanisms have been applied. This can lead to tooth decay and / or gum disease if not treated properly. The measures recommended to prevent these problems are:
  • Proper tooth brushing
  • Use of interdental brushes
  • Flossing
  • Use of mouthwash
  • Fluoridation
Only by carefully following these instructions you will keep your teeth and gums healthy and your braces clean!

TOOTH BRUSHING

Brushing your teeth is always important but especially now that you wear braces. Try to keep your braces as clean and shiny as on the first day that they were placed!


We recommend using a toothbrush of normal hardness and toothpaste that contains fluoride, preferably one that has your favorite flavor.  Brushing is recommended three times a day: after breakfast, after lunch (or right after you go home if you have eaten at work, school or street), and after dinner. The toothbrush will wear out faster because of the orthodontic devices, so you need to replace it when the bristles begin to soften or go out of place, approximately every 1 to 1.5 months.

 

 
  1. Use a toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste on it. Clean every surface of your teeth including surfaces above, under and between the brackets.
  2. Place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle until you feel its bristles near the gums.  Then make small circular motions on the spot. Each area should be brushed at least ten times. This should take about 2-3 minutes
  3. Brush each tooth surface slowly.  Brush the upper teeth at an angle from top to bottom and the bottom teeth with an angle from the bottom up. Finally, brush the tongue and the palate.

 

FLOSSING

The toothbrush will not reach all points in between teeth or under the arch wire. The floss is used to remove trapped food residues and plaque between teeth and under the gums.  The use of the dental floss is more difficult when brackets have been applied, but it is of great importance and should be done daily. The best time for flossing so is before sleeping so that the plaque that has accumulated during the day is removed.  Flossing should be immediately followed by brushing.



 

1. Use a piece of yarn about 30 cm. long, pass the thread under the arch and glide the floss up and down the lateral surface of each tooth. When the tooth is clean, the thread will run smoothly on the surface is clean.

2. Pass the thread gently around the tooth and slightly under the gum line. Flossing is more time -consuming when wearing braces.  Unhealthy gums are bound to bleed the first few times you floss. When they do not bleed, you know that you have achieved good oral hygiene.

 

INTERDENTAL BRUSHES


The interdental brush is a device that will be extremely helpful in your effort to keep your teeth, braces and gums clean and healthy. They can be used to clean areas between teeth and also around the braces and under the arch wires.

ANTISEPTIC MOUTHWASH
An antiseptic mouthwash can be used in orthodontics to control minor gum inflammation and braces caused irritations. The effect of oxygen in some of these promotes natural healing.  We recommend using a mouthwash once a week, unless otherwise advised

FLUORIDATION
Fluoridation is advisable to precede the start of the orthodontic treatment. It is performed by a dentist or a pediatric dentist and has a double action: acts as an antimicrobial agent and strengthens tooth enamel.

CLEANING OF REMOVABLE DENTAL APPLIANCES
Removable appliances tend to hold pieces of food and plaque just like teeth do. They should be brushed every time you brush your teeth. This will help avoid the accumulation of plaque and subsequent oral infections, and the appliance will have a much better flavor.  A dirty appliance makes patients unwilling to use it due to bad smell and taste. Cleaning it is done with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

REMEMBER!
Perfect oral hygiene is the prerequisite for healthy teeth and gums. If neglected, your treatment will probably need to be extended, since gum disease will cause your orthodontist to interrupt a treatment for several weeks until gingivitis has been successfully treated.