The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment has become extremely popular, with most of us experiencing treatment during our teenage years- nowadays adult orthodontics is just as popular. Everyone has a different reason for treatment, whether it be for the aesthetic view of their teeth or for functional purposes. One major part of orthodontic treatment which we, here at Swords Orthodontics strongly believe is so important is: oral hygiene. Although this is not consider as a physical part of ‘having braces’, it has an extremely important part in treatment.
Having any type of braces temporarily attached to your teeth is going to make brushing and flossing harder than it would be without braces. Once our patients have their braces fitted, our treatment coordinators have a detailed chat and demonstration with them on oral hygiene. We supply our patients with many different tools to aid in the oral hygiene process, some of which include:
- Interdental brushes
- Soft headed toothbrushes
- Disclosing tablets
- Travel toothbrushes
We take the time to demonstrate brushing techniques and how they change with the braces fitted, how to floss now the braces are on and also how to be smart with their food choices now they are in orthodontic treatment. Any foods that are hard or chewy for example nuts or boiled sweets, chewing gum, jellies and toffees are all types of food that we wouldn’t recommend eating as they can damage the braces and may be very tricky to clean if they get stuck around your brace.
Here at Swords Orthodontics we recommend that each of our patients brush for a minimum of 2 minutes each time they clean so after breakfast, lunch and dinner and before going to bed would be ideal times. We also recommend using ‘interbrace’ or ‘interdental’ brushes and floss at least once a day as food and germs can cling to the little brackets that are on your teeth and are hard to reach with a normal soft headed toothbrush. If the food and germs are left clinging around the braces they can cause damage to your teeth and make your gums become inflamed causing them to bleed while you’re brushing.
We also supply our patients with disclosing tablets. Disclosing tablets are small tablets that you chew and then spit out after you have brushed your teeth; they are made with vegetable dye which turns the plaque on your teeth a different colour to the areas that have no plaque. These are very helpful for patients who are having trouble with brushing especially at the beginning of orthodontic treatment. As they can point out areas which they might be missing while they are brushing.
We try our best to educate our patients on the importance of oral hygiene as we believe it is extremely important knowledge to have while having orthodontic treatment as well as when our patient’s orthodontic treatment finishes. If you are every in doubt or have any questions about oral hygiene do not hesitate to ask any of us here at the practice we would be more than happy to help.
Martina- Dental Nurse