Happy Dental Health Week – Here are a few essential oral health tips for during orthodontic treatment.
For Dental Health Week 2019, the Australian Dental Association has provided us with important information that can help you to maximise your oral health. ADA has heaps of resources available to help you keep your oral health in-line during orthodontic treatment.
- Morning and night brush your teeth and braces with your orthodontic toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. (Colgate Total is recommended because of its antibacterial ingredient).
- Use your egg times and brush for at least 3 minutes.
- Clean your braces first. Angle your brush down onto your braces and apply pressure so that the bristles slide under the wire and between the teeth. Now move the brush in small circles. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving on to the next one. Do this from above and below the wire for all the teeth, then repeat the process for all the bottom teeth.
- Now clean the area between your gums and the braces, where food collects and causes the most harm. Angle your brush towards the gums and use the same circular motion as before.
- Next brush the chewing surfaces and insides of your teeth.
- Finally rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and take a good look in the mirror. Your teeth should be really clean and shiny. Your braces should sparkle.
As you eat, your teeth and braces will collect food. Bacteria from your mouth can quickly turn this food into plaque that forms acid to attack your teeth and toxins attack your gums. This leads to demineralization (white marks on your teeth) and tooth decay (holes), inflamed gums (swollen red and bleeding). To prevent this, you must thoroughly clean the food off your teeth and braces before it can be made into plaque; that means straight after every meal and snack.
Choosing the correct toothpaste can often be a long process especially with all the different types on the market. It is recommended that you choose toothpaste that contains fluoride.
But why Fluoride?
Fluoride can help strengthen your teeth, making them more resistant to attacks from sugar and acid, therefore offering protection against decay.
People tend to skip flossing as it isn’t regarded as important. Did you know, “that nearly half of the surface area of your teeth lies between them”? (ADA 2019). Flossing is not optional and should be part of your daily routine.
Flossing can not only help to remove plaque between your teeth, but it can also help prevent tooth decay. If left unattended, it can aid the breeding of bacteria between your teeth and eventually, result in tooth decay.
At Smart Smile Orthodontics, we recommend using Super Floss as it comes in pre-cut strands with an inbuilt floss threader to make the job easier.
Thread the stiff end of the floss up under the archwire and pull it through to the thinner part of the floss. Wrap the floss around your fingers on either side of your teeth and slide the floss down between two teeth. You now have two surfaces to clean, one on each tooth. Work the floss against one tooth allowing it to slip under the gum. Use an up and down motion to move the floss against the tooth up to the wire and back down under the gum. Now move the floss over to the other tooth surface and clean it in the same way.
Here at Smart Smile Orthodontics, our team is always happy to answer your questions and help you with your oral health especially during orthodontic treatment. We encourage you to contact us so we can help you get on the correct path. Don’t forget that Australian Dental Association has a range of resources available.