Oral health and braces

Oral health and braces

You are already fully aware that oral hygiene is seriously important, however a regular and meticulous oral hygiene routine becomes doubly important when wearing braces. Without a high standard of hygiene during your orthodontic treatment, damage to the teeth and gums can occur within a few hours as a result of a build up of plaque and/or food substances. Here is some advice on how best to avoid this:

Brush your teeth regularly

Whilst you are wearing braces, it is necessary to brush your teeth at least four times a day after every meal using a fluoride-based toothpaste. To do this make sure that you take a toothbrush with you to school, work or when out socialising. If you do not develop this routine, the enamel will be permanently stained and damaged in places exposed to attack by food and plaque acids, this is called decalcification.

Decalcification

Brush teeth with a toothbrush

Clean around the brace


Even if you have a removable brace it is necessary to brush your teeth after meals to prevent the build up of destructive plaque.

First, brush for 3 to 5 minutes using a large headed toothbrush to remove all the food and plaque on the teeth use short, fast and firm, forwards and backwards motions; make sure you brush above and below your brace to clean your gum-lines.

Secondly, use an interspace toothbrush to access all the areas missed by the large headed toothbrush firmly brush so that the bristles spread out in between the wires, brackets and gum margins. After brushing and before you go to bed use a fluoride mouthwash to help strengthen the teeth.

If you are using an electric toothbrush, use a recommended brand or model such as Oral-B Professional Care 8900 with the orthodontic attachments or a Phillips Sonicare toothbrush.

Disclosing tablets

Use disclosing tablets

To help you identify the parts of your mouth where food or plaque gathers, use a disclosing tablet three times a week. This is done by placing the disclosing tablet in your mouth, chewing thoroughly and spreading the saliva to all tooth and gum surfaces using your tongue, until the red stain is

spread evenly. At this point you should spit out the saliva and rinse your mouth out with water. The areas of plaque will be stained red and will show where you are missing and not brushing properly. Then brush your teeth until all the stains removed.

Eat the right foods

Eat the right foods

Wearing braces should not excessively change your diet, however there are three types of food that may cause significant trouble to braces and should therefore be avoided.