FMS - an everlasting commitment to a healthy smile.
Will it be possible to maintain proper oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment?
Food particles and plaque naturally accumulate on the teeth and on braces. This process could lead to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Proper oral hygiene is vital to prevent these problems from occurring during your orthodontic treatment. The extra effort you give to keep your teeth, braces and gums clean and healthy will result in a much better orthodontic outcome.
Orthodontic toothbrush (brush for braces treatment) with moderate force and a tooth paste that contains fluoride can be used. By placing the toothbrush at an angle you can feel the bristles under your gum line and then use small circular motions. Completely clean each surface of every tooth in your mouth, including the areas above, below and between each brace. Each surface of every tooth should be scrubbed with 10 strokes of the toothbrush. This should take 2-3 minutes.
Brushing is recommended after breakfast, after lunch (or as soon as you get home from school), after supper and at bedtime (after every meal). Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A toothbrush might not reach the areas under the arch wire properly. Proper oral hygiene also involves flossing and the use of an interdental toothbrush, an antiseptic mouth rinse and a topical fluoride.
Dental floss is either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic (teflon or polyethylene) ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums. Dental floss may be flavored or unflavored, and waxed or unwaxed.
Flossing is more difficult when you have braces on your teeth. A floss threader may be needed to get the floss under the archwire.
Use a piece of floss about 12 inches long. Use the floss threader to get the floss under the wire. Slide the floss up and down along the tooth surface. When the tooth is clean the floss will “squeak” as you slide it up and down along the tooth surface. Be very careful to not pull with too much force on your arch wire. Flossing is important and should be done every day. The best time to floss is before bedtime after brushing to remove the plaque missed by brushing. This process will take more time than flossing without braces. If your gums are not healthy, they may bleed the first few days you floss. Remember that consistent brushing and flossing will result in a great orthodontic smile!
Successful orthodontic treatment requires a co-operative effort between the orthodontist and patient.