Are you worried about how braces will affect your oral hygiene?
Traditional braces require the secure fastening of brackets and wires onto your teeth surfaces throughout the entire duration of your treatment plan. Because of this, many patients have questions about how pursuing orthodontic care will affect their overall oral hygiene. As your trusted orthodontist in San Ramon, CA, Dr. McElroy is happy to teach his patients how to best care for their smiles while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Additionally, we can offer alternatives such as Invisalign or clear braces, which can make oral hygiene care a lot simpler for orthodontic patients.
Tips for Oral Hygiene with Braces
It is not uncommon for patients to struggle with maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, with or without orthodontic appliances in the way. However, braces and other orthodontic appliances can make maintaining a good oral hygiene routine more challenging. Here are our best tips for maintaining your oral hygiene with braces:
- Be Patient – It is going to take a little extra time to clean around the metal brackets and underneath the wires. However, this time will pay off at the end of your treatment plan when your entire tooth matches the same color as the section of your tooth that the bracket is attached to. The part of your tooth underneath the bracket should remain in good health as long as you take care of the parts of your tooth around it.
- Use Dental Floss Picks – Traditional dental floss will not work with braces because the floss will be interrupted by the wires. Instead, opt for dental floss picks so that you have more control and can more easily navigate the pick around the brackets and wires.
- Use High Fluoride Mouthwash – To help keep your enamel strong while undergoing orthodontic treatment, use a high fluoride mouthwash after brushing your teeth. Make sure you do not rinse the mouthwash out with water as this will remove the fluoride from youth surfaces. Dr. McElroy can recommend a mouthwash at your next appointment.
- Consider Invisalign – Invisalign Clear Braces are a great solution for patients interested in pursuing orthodontic treatment, but also concerned about maintaining their dental health. This is because Invisalign aligners are removable, making it easier for patients to brush and floss as they usually would.
How often should you go to a hygienist with braces?
Patients with braces should see a hygienist between 2-4 times per year for dental cleanings. While wearing braces, patients are at an increased risk to develop cavities and gum disease. Frequent dental cleanings help prevent this.
What can I not eat with braces?
With braces, patients should avoid hard foods like candies and nuts. They should also avoid sticky foods such as gum. Patients are also instructed not to eat popcorn, chew ice, or eat foods that require them to bite into them; corn on the Cob and whole apples for example.
How do you keep oral hygiene with braces?
Orthodontic patients should be sure to take good care of their oral health while wearing braces. Brushing and flossing regularly is very important since it is much harder to get to those spots that braces hide. Many patients use mouthwash and fluoride more often while undergoing orthodontic treatment as well.