Orthodontics takes commitment and patience on the part of the patient and their dentist. The process requires you to invest your time, mental energy, and money in the quest for an improved smile. The good news is that your investment can pay off in a big way. Your oral health can improve, your confidence can…
Tips to Maintain Oral Health During Teeth Straightening Treatment
Teeth straightening treatment is an investment for your smile and the future. Moving forward with wearing the braces or aligners is the first step. The second step involves caring for your teeth and gums. This article provides tips for maintaining dental health while undergoing treatment.
Tips for oral health
It is crucial to protect the teeth from oral issues like enamel discoloration, tooth decay and gum disease. The dentist will recommend brushing the teeth after every meal to prevent food debris from accumulating and keep the mouth free of plaque buildup. Aside from properly brushing the teeth, tips to consider include the following.
Keep the mouth clean
Patients with clear aligners will find it easier to clean their teeth by simply taking out the aligner tray. However, with braces, the process is slightly different. The best option is to brush soon after a meal to keep the teeth and braces clean. Sometimes, a toothbrush may not be immediately available, so the alternative is to use water to rinse the mouth soon after eating or drinking. While this may not be enough, it will still remove some food particles or stains from the teeth and braces.
The best toothbrush for cleaning the teeth with braces is a soft-bristled or power toothbrush. It is important to clean every nook and cranny of the braces, including wires and brackets and teeth and gums to prevent the possible buildup of plaque. Patients should make it a habit to brush at least four times daily or after each snack or meal. Afterward, rinse with a fluoride-based mouthwash. There are also specially made toothbrushes for people who have braces.
Remember to floss
This can be a tad harder with braces, but it is necessary to maintain the teeth and gums' health during teeth straightening. Flossing regularly is necessary because it eliminates flood debris and plaque between the teeth and prevents the occurrence of tooth decay or gum disease. The dentist may suggest getting a special floss or threader to assist with the flossing process with braces.
With aligners, patients can continue to eat their favorite meals. This applies to braces as well, but with minor caution. Some foods can cause damages to the tooth enamel and increase the chances of cavity development on the teeth. Acidic foods, such as oranges, soft drinks and vinegar-based dressings, can cause enamel deterioration. It is better to limit sugary foods and drinks to prevent oral health issues.
For braces, sticky and hard foods, such as chips, candy, corns, gum and hard bread, are not advisable because they get lodged easily and are hard to remove from the brackets. Patients can talk to their dentists to know which foods and drinks to take or avoid to prevent tooth discoloration issues at the end of the treatment.
Book an appointment
If you are undergoing teeth straightening treatment, you should visit the general dentist regularly. The checkup and exam are also crucial for oral health.
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