Excellent oral hygiene is crucial for healthy teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing is even more vital for patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Proper hygiene techniques are essential during this time, as plaque deposits and food can become trapped around the wires, brackets, and bands. At Roy Orthodontics, our team can help you develop an at-home oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.
Why is Oral Hygiene Important?
Oral bacteria can lead to a myriad of dental issues, including gum disease and tooth decay. But where do the bacteria come from? When plaque forms on the teeth, it harbors infection-causing germs. If the plaque deposits are not removed through routine brushing and flossing, the bacteria can begin to irritate the gums and erode the tooth enamel. These problems can be reduced or altogether avoided through regular dental cleanings and excellent oral hygiene at home between visits.
Dental Cleanings and Examinations
The majority of dental patients undergo cleanings about every six months. But did you know the frequency of your cleanings is ultimately determined by your dentist, according to your specific needs? Therefore, those who are more prone to gum disease or tooth decay can significantly benefit from more frequent visits. When you are wearing braces, there is the potential for more inflammation and redness, due to the wires and brackets. Therefore, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend extra cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Oral Hygiene between Visits
Professional dental cleanings are a vital part of oral health. Between your visits, it is important to practice excellent hygiene at home. This involves brushing at least two times a day and flossing at least once a day. Our team is available to help develop a regimen that will work well for you.
Oral Hygiene Tips While Wearing Braces
Practicing excellent oral hygiene can be a bit challenging when you are wearing braces. Over the years, our team has developed a few guidelines that will help you clean your teeth effectively:
- Clean between the teeth: Flossing is pretty straightforward – unless you’re wearing braces. The wires keep the floss from reaching deep into the gums. Therefore, it is crucial that you use floss threaders, dental picks, or interproximal brushes to properly clean between the teeth. We can help you find a product that will work well for you.
- Use a soft toothbrush: Whether or not you are wearing braces, you should always use a soft toothbrush. Medium and hard brushes can damage the tooth enamel and cause damage to your smile. Soft-bristled brushes also help you clean hard-to-reach areas more easily.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash: When you are wearing braces, you are more susceptible to gum inflammation and gingivitis. To combat oral bacteria and keep your gums healthy, an antibacterial mouth rinse can be used as a supplement to brushing and flossing.
- Consider professional fluoride treatments: Patients who are prone to cavities can benefit significantly from regular fluoride treatments. This is even more important if you are wearing braces. We can provide in-office treatments, or recommend an at-home fluoride supplement.
Contact Us for More Information
If you would like to learn more about oral hygiene while wearing braces, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Roy, contact our offices. We have two locations serving Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.