Maintaining good oral hygiene is always important, however when you are in orthodontic treatment it becomes even more critical to brush and floss daily. Your appliances, braces and aligners are effective in correcting misaligned teeth, however they can also trap food particles easily. Keeping your teeth and appliances clean may take more effort, but you can do it!
Rule of thumb to remember – Brush 3 times a day and after every meal. Floss at least once a day.
The major enemy of oral health is plaque. Food that becomes trapped near tooth surfaces can lead to the formation of plaque which is a thin coating of microorganisms and organic debris containing potentially harmful bacteria. Because you are wearing braces, aligners or appliances you have to work a little harder to remove this plaque. If you don’t, the bacteria in plaque may erode teeth and irritate gums. This can cause cavities, white spots on teeth, gum disease and bad breath.
Keeping plaque under control is one of the most effective means of maintaining strong, healthy teeth and gums. A healthy diet, numerous times a day of brushing and flossing, and regular dental checkups will keep plaque away and your teeth and smile healthy!
Please view the videos below on how to keep your braces clean during treatment
Please view the video below on how to keep your clear aligners clean during treatment
Diet and Decay
Controlling your diet involves avoiding foods that could increase your risk of developing tooth decay. That means cutting down or eliminating foods with an excess of sugar, like soda, sweets, and ice cream. It also means avoiding foods that could easily become stuck in your braces, like caramel, gum, licorice and candy.
Foods that are very hard or extremely sticky can also cause physical damage to orthodontic appliances. Broken wires or loose brackets will not work well to straighten your teeth, so avoiding foods like hard candies, nuts, popcorn, chips, and hard pizza crust. Keep eating healthy foods like carrots and apples, but cut them into bite-sized pieces first! And please avoid chewing on ice, pencils, nails, or sweater strings. These habits can cause damage to your appliances and may delay treatment time.