How To Maintain a Good Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment With Braces

An interdental brush can greatly enhance your dental hygiene routine.

Sometimes listening to what it takes to have good oral health turns boring and repetitive. However, when it comes to orthodontics, despite its monotonousness, oral health status has a profound significance.

In simple terms, any respectable Portland orthodontic treatment implies patients have a strong sense of discipline to comply with the specialist recommendations. Orthodontic treatment success depends heavily on the patient caring about its importance.

Moreover, proper dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment is imperious. The nooks and crannies of brackets and wires clog with debris and food residues more profoundly and frequently than in a person not wearing braces.

With this said, we insist on the boringness of advising patients about the importance of “enhanced” oral hygiene when wearing braces. Therefore, this article encompasses several topics related to it, with special emphasis on oral hygiene devices, interproximal brushes, and interdental brushing.

What Is an Interdental Brush?

The most significant difference between good oral hygiene for non-braces vs. braces-wearing patients is the addition of the interdental brush in the cleaning course and knowing the technique of its use.

The interdental brush is a small utensil that measures approximately half an inch. It has a handle on one side and a brush head similar to a toilette cleaning brush in miniature.

An interdental brush head fits in the interdental space in the middle of the teeth. The mechanical movement introducing the brushes in between teeth back and forth allows the bristles to clear away debris.

The little bristles also fit in the spaces between the wires and teeth and in the entrenched areas of brackets. Interdental brushes come in different sizes. So we recommend patients consult a dentist to define the diameter that works for the patient’s interdental space.

How to Use an Interdental Brush?

Grab the handle pressing it with the index and thumb fingers. Then insert the head that has the brushes in between the teeth. Maneuver the handle with vertical and horizontal movements at various interlapses.

Repeat the process with every other pair of teeth. Also, you can insert the head of the interdental brush in any additional space you visually identify as having food residues.

Place the interdental brush at a vertical angle and insert the brushes between the wire and tooth where you notice rests of food or dirt. Next, use the tip part of the head, moving it slightly to brush the nooks and crannies of brackets, angling the movements to produce a mechanical expel of debris.

What Are the Benefits of an Interdental Brush Over Other Options?

An interdental brush reaches spaces that, customarily, a patient might not reach with a conventional flossing thread. Sometimes, a patient might use a self-threading flosser to clear debris, but the interdental flosser complies with the same function. Still, the bristles enhance the mechanical function removing more dirt.

How to Brush and Floss With Braces?

The best way to maintain dental hygiene while on braces is to complement brushing with detailed flossing. First, patients must spend extra time brushing each dental arches quadrant.

We recommend orthodontic patients brush each section for an extra minute than a non-braces user. Keep in mind brushing entails clearing the additional crannies that come with orthodontic braces. Therefore, you must get closer to your bathroom mirror and double-check any unseen spot carrying dirt on it.

The same rule applies to flossing. Again, we recommend our patients use interdental cleaning devices in all the slots’ braces form. Incidentally, it might be challenging to manage some traces of residues that get profoundly stuck in the appliances.

On such non-frequent occasions, you might use a water irrigator to assist you in having a better cleaning outcome. A water irrigator directs a splash of pressurized water to a previously identified area, unclogging it.

Are There More Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthier?

Yes, many forms are part of a whole that will help patients have healthy mouths.

Dietary Restrictions

There are dietary restrictions for orthodontic braces patients. We include some of the most recurring foods you must avoid during your treatment with braces:

Sugary Foods

First, avoid sugar-added products the most as possible. Sugar is the preferred meal for bacteria. The more you consume sugary products. The more bacteria grow, the more they reproduce and leave nasty acidic residues that harm the enamel protectant layer in our teeth.

Crunchy or Hard-to-Bite Foods

Avoid crunchy foods like crackers, hard tortillas, popcorn, and chips. Also, hard-to-bite foods might make a bracket fall and a wire break or derail. These foods include meats to the bone and hard-to-bite fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, and carrots.

To make it tender, you can cook the meat without the bone in a pressure cooker. You might also cut the apple or other fruits into bite-size parts to avoid tearing the fruit with the front teeth brackets. Cook vegetables to make them softer and easier to chew.

Professional Cleanings

For effective plaque removal, we recommend patients create a joint plan with their orthodontist to define the number of visits they must attend for dental cleanups to eliminate dental plaque with a dental hygienist.

It is important to attend professional checkups to minimize and eliminate the possibility of interproximal caries, tooth decay, or periodontal disease (periodontitis) that might affect the treatment outcome.

Get a Healthy and Beautiful Smile at Hillsdale Orthodontics

Schedule an initial consultation online through our Hillsdale Orthodontics. We will gladly make a first evaluation of your case so you can have an idea of your orthodontic needs and the most suitable orthodontic appliances.

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Picture of Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

As a nutty overachiever, Dr. Leemin never lost sight of her childhood dreams of becoming a smartypants orthodontist. After graduating from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors, she embarked on her career in dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated #1 in her class. Feeling just a little too ambitious, she then completed 2.5 years of additional training at OHSU to become an orthodontic specialist.

Stanford University – Bachelor of Arts with Honors
Univ. of Pennsylvania – Doctor of Dental Medicine
Oregon Health & Science Univ. – Master of Science
Oregon Health & Science Univ. – Certificate in Orthodontics

Picture of Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

As a nutty overachiever, Dr. Leemin never lost sight of her childhood dreams of becoming a smartypants orthodontist. After graduating from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors, she embarked on her career in dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated #1 in her class. Feeling just a little too ambitious, she then completed 2.5 years of additional training at OHSU to become an orthodontic specialist.

Stanford University
Bachelor of Arts with Honors
Univ. of Pennsylvania
Doctor of Dental Medicine
Oregon Health & Science Univ.
Master of Science
Oregon Health & Science Univ.
Certificate in Orthodontics

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