Wearing any type of brace does require a very good level of oral hygiene and this is especially the case if you have fixed braces on. It is really important to maintain excellent oral hygiene throughout your orthodontic treatment, if you don’t have a healthy mouth you could end up with marks on your teeth or fillings and that isn’t going to look great when your teeth are nice and straight.
There are 3 steps to a healthy mouth…
1. When you have brackets on the teeth you need to make sure food debris is removed from around the brackets, otherwise these food particles can begin to cause decay. We recommend the use of small yellow Tepe brushes which you use to push up behind the wire and around the block, dislodging any unwanted food! These should be used before brushing both in the morning and in the evening.
2. Along with these brushes we recommend using a toothbrush specifically designed for brace wearers, the heads of these brushes have bristles set in a v-shape, this allows the outer bristles to surround the brackets ensuring all areas of the bracket are cleaned.
If you are using an electric toothbrush the bristles on these heads are arranged in a circle and the inner bristles are set back from the outside bristles, this means the head will cup the bracket ensuring a really good clean. You should be brushing for 2 minutes morning and night, get yourself a timer to make sure you are doing it for this long, sometimes you can think you have done it for 2 minutes but you’d be surprised!
3. The final step to a healthy mouth is using an alcohol free mouthwash with added fluoride. This must be used after you have brushed and should be swilled around for at least 1 minute, spit this out and avoid eating and drinking after you have done this. Its best to use an alcohol free mouthwash as this wont dry the mouth out which can lead to bacteria multiplying.
Your diet is important too…….
As well as a great routine for keeping your gnashers clean, you need to ensure you eat a healthy diet, cutting out those sugary snacks between meals (sorry!) and cutting down on fizzy drinks. If you follow these guidelines whilst you have your fixed braces on you will have beautiful set of pearly whites at the end of your treatment.
Are you doing it right?
To keep an eye on your brushing you can use disclosing tablets which stain the areas that have plaque build up, the darker the staining the more plaque there is. To use the disclosing tablets brush your teeth as above but don’t use mouthwash at the end, thoroughly chew the tablet then rinse the mouth, do not swallow the tablet. Residual red stain indicates newer plaque, and blue stain older plaque that has been missed by previous brushing. Be careful when using this product as it can stain furnishings and clothes!
We sell a great range of products in our shop, so pick up your supplies next time you are in.