Don´t be surprised to know there are always bacteria in your mouth. Your body´s balancing mechanisms already know this and take care of it without you even noticing. Specifically, your mouth has a shielding mechanism, which is saliva, that acts to balance the growth of bacteria. However, misbalances occur when bacteria stick to your teeth, and the moisture enhances its growth.
The problem arises when bacteria accumulate, creating a protective layer called biofilm. Biofilm creates a protective barrier for bacteria against your saliva defense mechanism. As bacteria inhabitants and biofilm grows in size, it accumulates even increasing amounts of smelly residues produced by them. The residues produced counterbalance the biological equilibrium in your mouth. The effect is the occurrence of bad breath, gum disease, and, worst, tooth decay.
So, you might be wondering, what is the next level mechanism you have in order to protect yourself from bacteria biofilm? The answer is the mechanical removal of bacteria you must activate to maintain good oral hygiene.
However, it is not a mystery that many patients hardly have an answer when a dentist asks if they floss their teeth at least once a day. Regardless of the many reasons to skip proper dental cleaning, it is always right to take a look at proper oral hygiene details over and over again.
Imagine for a moment how important it is to practice good oral hygiene habits when using braces. This article addresses the many options, mechanisms, and products you can choose to keep your teeth healthy while and after using braces.
Develop Enhanced Oral Hygiene Habits
We´ve talked about bacteria and biofilm. Well, braces create a more suitable environment for bacteria and plaque buildup. Food usually gets stuck between the brackets and wires, making it hard to get rid of small pieces of food. In addition to the customary oral hygiene habits, we highly recommend you add the following steps to maintain good oral health while using braces.
Wearing braces requires a bit more effort than usual when it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene. Here we bring you a step-by-step procedure for proper hygiene maintenance of your teeth and braces.
- The first step before starting your brushing routine is to take off removable parts of the alignment treatment, such as elastics.
- Brush your teeth after every meal using a soft toothbrush. Concentrate on brushing the parts between the brackets and your gums at a 45-grade angle directed to your gums, as these are the parts where particles get trapped.
- Then, brush all parts, chewing surfaces, front and back of your teeth divided into quadrants. Do this for an extra minute than the regular brushing with no braces.
- Try carrying out a brush with you at all times. Otherwise, rinse your mouth after every single meal for at least 30 seconds to remove excess food particles in your mouth.
It is essential to pay special attention to detail while brushing. Use small amounts of toothpaste to have a clear view of residue and plaque accumulation so that you can focus on those areas. Visually identify areas of concern and move towards these areas by sweeping away residue.
If you have removable braces, fill a sink with water and softly brush it with fluoride paste, trying to remove any food residues you visually find.
Proper flossing is the main part of oral hygiene, especially when using braces. Perfect your flossing procedure by using waxed floss, pulling one end of the flossing thread between teeth and under the archwire for the upper teeth and over the archwire for the lower teeth. You can repeat this procedure by inserting the hard flossing part between the teeth and the gums, pulling down, trying not to damage your wires, and sliding back and forth to the sides. Change the thread and repeat as many times as needed.
Do an Extra Effort Cleaning Your Braces
A good practice is to spend an extra minute or two brushing and polishing details, perfecting your technique. Remember to refrain from rinsing after brushing as this might take away the fluoride of the toothpaste.
Never skip an orthodontist appointment. Your Darien specialists can identify any issues related to cavities and other oral diseases that might have a negative impact on your treatment. They might use special tools to clean spaces that are hard for you to reach.
Also, your Darien orthodontist might recommend you to increase the concentration of fluoride on any of its different applying varieties, like toothpaste, mouthwash, or in some cases, might directly apply a fluoride varnish.
Remember that having braces bring along extra care about added gunk accumulation.
Additional Tools for a Better Oral & Braces Hygiene
You can Invest in deep cleaning devices and products. For instance, if you feel unsure about how good your oral hygiene techniques are, you can invest in disclosing tablets. These tablets dissolve on your mouth and allow you to distinguish areas of concern by highlighting plaque. This technique will allow you to focus on specific areas in which plaque adheres to your teeth.
Use an Electric Toothbrush with a Power Tip brush head. This device has a design that helps clean around your braces. One of the advantages of using an electric toothbrush is the different oscillation modes, with lower speeds for sensitive parts like the gums and the brackets.
You can also get at a pharmacy a Self-Threading Floss. This special type of floss is a perfect solution when using braces. You can pass through the hard thread part in the space between the bracket and the gums. This will cover an area that is difficult to access with regular floss.
A tool perfectly suitable for brackets are interdental brushes. These brushes are plume-like with soft bristles that look like a small pipe cleaner. They come with a handle to mechanically manipulate the brush. You can insert interdental brushes in small spaces as you do with a floss thread. Interdental brushes can also help reach spaces under the wires and around brackets. Remember, it is important to consult your Darien orthodontist to find out the precise size of the brush according to your teeth’ space and needs.
Adding interdental brushing to your regular braces routine will contribute to maximizing your oral health. Its usage is simpler than flossing and is especially useful when having braces, as you control the mechanical motion can with one hand. Another benefit from interdental brushing is its effectiveness due to the sweeping action of the brushes between teeth.
You can select from all the different options shared in this article to practice good oral hygiene habits. However, none of them replace proper brushing and flossing. With this in mind, a water irrigator is an additional device that throws pressurized water to your teeth. This helps unclog small pieces of food and debris.
With these pieces of advice and the professional care of Darien´s Orthodontists, you will have a healthy, straight, and happy smile. Make an appointment or visit our facilities to assist you in determining the most suitable orthodontics treatment for you