Keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces can be a bit of a challenge. Orthodontic patients know that oral hygiene during your treatment is extremely important. Even a small amount of plaque left on the tooth can cause demineralization around your orthodontic brackets. When your braces are finally removed, these areas appear as white lines or circles on your teeth. Ensuring that you properly clean around all of your orthodontic appliances is the only way to prevent these enamel scars.
Brush carefully above and below your brackets, especially between the bracket and your gums. Purchasing a “proxa-brush” at the drug store can also make it easier to brush between the brackets. These brushes are similar to having a small pipe cleaner on the end of a toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can also remove a greater amount of plaque than manual toothbrushes and can be a beneficial part of your oral care routine.
Flossing around braces is extremely difficult and time consuming. If you prefer traditional flossing methods, be sure to use a threader device that allows you to get the floss under the wire, allowing you to wrap the floss tightly against the teeth and slide under the gumlines. Remember, if you don’t floss, there’s nothing else that will clean between your teeth. An alternative to floss is using an electric water flosser such as a WaterPik. These devices use water to clean between teeth and under the gumlines without the use of traditional floss.
Prescription fluoride therapy can help reverse any demineralization that is in the early stages. Most orthodontists recommend that their patients use supplemental fluoride during their treatment because of how difficult it is to maintain their oral hygiene during orthodontic therapy. However, it is not an excuse to neglect other care routines.
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