It can feel challenging to maintain your oral hygiene once you’re fitted with braces or when you receive your Aligners. It is very important to keep on top of all hygiene practices while undergoing treatment to avoid cavities and tooth discolourations.
Luckily, with a few adjustments to your normal oral hygiene practises, this is easy enough to achieve. And while the team at The Orthodontic Hub will give you individual advice, this guide for good oral hygiene while wearing braces or aligners is a great place to start.
Brushing your teeth
We all know that brushing your teeth is integral to good oral health, and the same is true when you wear braces. If you have traditional or ceramic braces, it’s important to make sure you don’t neglect the area under the wires and around the brackets when brushing your teeth.
To get to all the right places, you’ll have to slightly alter how you brush your teeth put a little extra time aside to ensure you are getting to all those hard to reach places. Orthodontists recommend brushing at a 45 degree angle towards your gums and cleaning each tooth for around 10 seconds. And don’t forget to brush your gums, and tongue!
Unfortunately, a few of your favourite foods might be off-limits during your orthodontic treatment. Sticky foods can get stuck in your teeth and hard foods can break brackets and wires. It is best to avoid foods like: nuts, biscuits, popcorn, toffee, hard lollies, and pork crackling. Other foods, like hard apples and raw carrots, should be eaten in smaller pieces or grated. However do not worry, when you see our Orthodontist or hygienist, they will provide you with a full list of some good foods to try when undergoing braces treatment.
Because of the increased chance of getting food stuck in your teeth, we recommend rinsing your mouth with water a few times a day. This will help get rid of any lodged bits of food in between brushing. In addition to this, a fluoride mouth rinse before bed can help keep those teeth strong.
A challenge at the best of times, flossing can admittedly be even harder when you wear braces. Still, it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene as flossing can get into tiny and tight spots that your toothbrush misses.
While you can use traditional floss with braces, it might take a few tries – and a lesson from your orthodontist – to get the hang of getting the floss under your wires. If you’re having trouble, there are also other options, like a floss threader, Super Floss or an oral irrigator.
Dental check ups
It is important to continue with your regular yearly dental check with your Oral Health Therapist (prior to secondary school), dentist (whilst at secondary school). This is a government funded free service until the age of 18. Alternatively, for those of you who wish for some extra special care, Dr Katie Ayers (a Specialist Paediatric Dentist) can help you with your dental needs further. She visits our clinic monthly.
While undergoing orthodontic treatment it can be a challenge to maintain excellent oral hygiene even with a great at-home regime. We encourage a visit to a dental hygienist once every 6 months. You can ask your local dentist if they have a hygienist at their practice or you are welcome to book in with our hygienist here at The Orthodontic Hub. Current patients are entitled to a discounted rate and most find appointments very beneficial. Our hygienist appointments include: plaque disclosing dye that shows you where you are missing with your brushing, correct brushing technique, advice on manual versus electric tooth brushes, diet advice, help with choosing Floss Threaders, Interproximal Brushes, beneficial gels and pastes and much more.
Good oral health and hygiene is an important part of your orthodontic treatment.
If you have more questions about taking care of your dental hygiene while wearing braces or aligners, or want to book in with our dental hygienist, talk to The Orthodontic Hub today – we have clinics in both Mount Maunganui and Whakatane.