Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners, can be a life-changing experience that results in a beautiful, healthy smile. However, maintaining good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment is essential to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout the treatment process. Here are some tips on how to maintain good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment.
1. Brushing and Flossing
One of the most important things you can do during orthodontic treatment is to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently clean your teeth and gums. Pay extra attention to the areas around your brackets or aligners, as these areas can trap food and bacteria.
If you have braces, use a proxabrush or interdental toothbrush to clean around your brackets and wires. These small, cone-shaped brushes can fit between your braces to remove food and plaque. You can also use a water flosser to clean around your brackets and wires. A water flosser uses a stream of water to remove food and bacteria from between your teeth and braces.
2. Use Mouthwash
Using mouthwash can also help maintain good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Mouthwash can help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Choose a mouthwash that is alcohol-free and has fluoride to help strengthen your teeth. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
3. Watch Your Diet
During orthodontic treatment, it is important to watch your diet to prevent damage to your braces or aligners. Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods, such as popcorn, gum, and taffy. These foods can damage your brackets or aligners and make it difficult to clean your teeth properly. Instead, choose soft, easy-to-chew foods, such as steamed vegetables, pasta, and cooked fruits.
4. Wear a Mouthguard
If you play sports during orthodontic treatment, it is important to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces or aligners. A mouthguard can help prevent damage to your teeth if you accidentally get hit in the face. Ask your orthodontist about the best type of mouthguard for your needs.
5. Visit Your Orthodontist Regularly
Regular visits to your orthodontist are essential to maintaining good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist can check your braces or aligners and make any necessary adjustments. They can also monitor your progress and ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy.
What Should I Do If My Braces or Aligners Hurt?
If your braces or aligners are causing discomfort, try using orthodontic wax to cover any areas that are rubbing against your cheeks or lips. You can also try taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If your discomfort persists, contact your orthodontist for advice.
How Can I Keep My Braces or Aligners Clean?
To keep your braces or aligners clean, brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Use a proxab rush or interdental toothbrush to clean around your brackets and wires, and consider using a water flosser to remove food and bacteria from hard-to-reach areas. Avoid eating hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can damage your braces or aligners and make it difficult to clean your teeth properly. Also, make sure to visit your orthodontist regularly for checkups and adjustments.
Can I Still Whiten My Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment?
If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners, it is best to wait until after your treatment is complete to whiten your teeth. Whitening products can only work on the exposed surfaces of your teeth, and with braces or aligners in place, it can be difficult to reach all of the tooth surfaces evenly. Additionally, removing the braces or aligners prematurely to whiten your teeth can prolong your treatment time.
Maintaining good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment is crucial for ensuring that your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout the treatment process. Brush and floss regularly, use mouthwash, watch your diet, wear a mouthguard when playing sports, and visit your orthodontist regularly. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your orthodontic treatment is a success.
Recommendations for Further Reading
For more information on maintaining good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment, check out the following resources:
Orthodontic treatment can help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile, but it's important to maintain good dental hygiene during the process. By brushing and flossing regularly, using mouthwash, watching your diet, wearing a mouthguard when playing sports, and visiting your orthodontist regularly, you can help ensure that your treatment is a success. If you have any questions or concerns about dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment, be sure to talk to your orthodontist.