Orthodontic brackets and wires act as an excellent trap for food, making your teeth more prone to cavities and increasing the risk of gum disease. For this reason, it is essential that good, daily oral hygiene habits are upkept during treatment to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.
Cleaning with orthodontic hardware can be tedious, but it is crucial to do so due to braces offering many areas for plaque to accumulate. Around your brackets and wires, between your teeth, along the gum line and in the grooves of your molars, are all areas where plaque can build up and be missed. The bacteria in plaque produces acid which damages tooth enamel and irritates the gums. When not removed with proper cleaning, plaque can encourage problems such as decay and gum disease. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you take the time and care to brush your teeth twice a day and clean in between your teeth and brackets with the appropriate tools.
Floss and interdental brushes are the ideal solution to cleaning hard-to-reach areas with your orthodontic hardware. Regular floss isn’t very effective in cleaning between braces, and so it is recommended that SuperFloss be used instead. SuperFloss is like regular floss in most ways, except it has a soft, spongey section to the string for better cleaning, and a stiffened end to aid in threading the floss between your teeth near the gum line. This enables you to floss between your teeth under your orthodontic wire.
In conjunction with SuperFloss, interdental brushes should also be incorporated into your oral hygiene routine. Interdental brushes are small bristled brushes which are designed to clean areas your regular toothbrush can’t reach. These brushes will help you to clean around and under your orthodontic brackets and wire, as well as between your teeth near the gum line. Be sure to clean between your teeth using these methods at least once a day.
Maintaining a strict oral hygiene routine at home is essential to caring for your teeth during orthodontic treatment, however it is just as important to visit your dentist for periodic examinations and cleans. In doing so, your dentist can help to remove any plaque and tartar that was missed at home, and to spot early signs of decay so that you can enjoy your new smile when you’re wire-free!
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