Monarch Orthodontic Services: Oral Hygiene
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Braces
Wearing braces can give you a beautiful smile. but it is important that you take especially good care of your teeth during orthodontic treatment.
With proper brushing and flossing, you’ll keep your teeth and gums in top condition and ensure that your orthodontic treatment will deliver the healthiest, most beautiful smile possible. When your braces come off, you’ll see that your extra efforts have been rewarded with a healthy, happy, and great-looking smile . Proper dental care will take a little extra time and effort, but it is well worth it, so follow your Orthodontist’s and instructions carefully.
Successful orthodontic treatment is the result of a team effort between you, your orthodontist and your dentist.
We will review how to brush and floss properly the day you get your braces and will provide you with all the tools you will need. Please let us know if you need further help with either brushing or flossing.
To maintain healthy teeth and gums, you should brush your teeth after every meal and before you go to bed. You can use a power toothbrush with braces. Your toothbrush or power toothbrush head should be changed frequently since the brackets on your teeth will quickly wear out the bristles. We recommend replacing your brush every 3 months.
The brush should be placed against the teeth at a 45° angle. The bristles should be pushed under the wire and between the teeth. Use a circular motion to scrub all over the braces, gums and teeth. Take your time and don't forget to brush the tongue side and chewing surfaces of the teeth to ensure all plaque and food have been removed. It should take you about three minutes to complete a proper brushing!
Flossing is more time consuming with braces but very important. Waxed floss should be used at a length of 18 inches. The floss must be threaded under the wire using a floss threader before it is passed between the teeth. After a few weeks of practice, it will be easier to floss.
Taking Care of Removable Appliances
It is also important to take care of your removable appliances. Brush them as instructed by your orthodontist and either put them back in your mouth or store them in the retainer case provided.
To protect your braces while you are wearing them, it is important to watch the food that you eat and avoid those that can cause damage to your braces. Follow these guidelines while wearing braces to help you avoid problems:
- Avoid hard foods such as hard candy, biting on ice cubes, and meat with bones.
- Avoid sticky foods that can damage or loosen your braces: gum, taffy, gummy bears, Starburst, Skittles, and caramel.
- Avoid crunchy foods that can break your braces: popcorn, corn chips, nacho chips, and nuts.
- Cut hard foods like apples and carrots into bite-size pieces.
- Corn on the cob – Corn should be cut off the cob.
Limit the amount of foods that are high in sugar. Sugar increases the likelihood of cavities and permanent white marks with or without braces for the overall health of your teeth. Many foods, like breakfast cereals and juices, have hidden sugars. These foods should be avoided whenever possible. If you do eat sugary foods, brush your teeth immediately afterwards. If that is not possible, rinse your mouth with water.
We would like to reinforce the need for you to keep regular visits with your family or pediatric dentist. They play a vital role in maintaining good oral health. We are in aid to your dentist, not a replacement.
Remember, it is important to visit the dentist every 6 months while wearing braces for frequent cleanings and examinations.