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Oral Hygiene

 

Having purpose of having good oral hygiene isn’t just to keep your mouth clean and your smile bright, but to keep your entire body healthy too. Having good oral health has shown to reduce the chances of you developing heart disease or infection as you grow older, so having a proper, daily oral hygiene routine is definitely worth it in the long run.

When you have braces, keeping your mouth perfectly clean is a little more challenging since there are brackets and wires in the way that can trap more food particles than before. This just means that you’ll need to take a few extra measures to get rid of those food particles and prevent them from developing into harmful plaque that can damage your teeth. Below are some helpful tips on maintaining a good oral hygiene routine while you have your braces.

Brushing

The key to brushing is to make sure that use proper brushing technique while being completely thorough. Always brush in circular, vibrating motions to allow the bristles to move and get into hard to reach places. To ensure a proper cleaning, you need to brush the front, back, top, and bottom of your teeth. The easiest way to do this is to break up the recommended 2 minutes of brushing into four, 30-second increments to focus on brushing each section.

Flossing

You should floss at least once a day, since it gets the food particles that get stuck in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. When you have braces, the floss needs to be pulled under the archwire, so use a floss threader to help pull the floss completely through. Use a different section of floss for each tooth, since you don’t want to spread the food particles on the used piece of floss around the rest of your mouth.

Rinsing

Rising is the third main part of a healthy oral hygiene routine. After you’re done brushing and flossing, you can rinse your mouth with water, or an antiseptic mouthwash. The antiseptic rinse does carry more benefits than just rinsing with water, since it can help relieve minor gum inflammation, canker sores, or minor wounds that can be caused by your braces, since it removes all remaining particles and allows your mouth to heal naturally.

Interdental

An interdental toothbrush, also known as a proxabrush, has small bristles that can easily get between archwires and brackets to get a more thorough cleaning than you would get from just brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Use the proxabrush very carefully, since aggressive cleaning could possibly cause damage to your braces.

Retainer

Once you get your braces off, you will get your retainer to help keep your teeth in their new position. However, if not cared for properly, retainers can quickly develop plaque that can damage your teeth in the long run. Keep your retainer clean by brushing your retainer every day while you brush your teeth. At least once a day, you should put your retainer in a glass of tap water that’s around room temperature, along with a denture- cleaning tablet such as Polident or Efferdent. This ensures that there is no food particle or plaque buildup on your retainer, and has the added benefit of it tasting better when you wear it. It’s best to avoid using hot water when cleaning the retainer because the heat can actually distort the shape of the appliance, possibly making it uncomfortable to wear.

Food To Avoid

When you first get your braces, your teeth will be sore for about one week while your teeth adjust. During this time, it’s best to stick to softer foods to avoid any discomfort while eating. After that short period of discomfort, you are free to eat almost anything with just a few exceptions.

Hard food and sticky foods can easily damage brackets and wires, so it’s recommended that you avoid them. This included things like ice and pizza crust, or licorice and caramels. Foods that are high in sugar should be avoided as well, since they can cause a heavy plaque buildup fairly quickly. Sugar also combines with the plaque to create acid that can cause swollen gums or tooth decay.

Call Wiregrass Orthodontics Today!

These tips cover the essentials when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy and clean. If you would like some more oral hygiene tips, or need help with getting your family in the routine of having good oral health habits, just contact the experts at Wiregrass Orthodontics today! You can also stop by our office, which is conveniently located for all of those coming from Dothan, Enterprise, Ozark, and the surrounding areas. We look forward to hearing from you!