Guide To Flossing And Maintaining Oral Hygiene With Braces

March 1, 2019

Most people are aware of the importance of oral hygiene. Maintaining careful and consistent oral hygiene becomes absolutely necessary when a person has braces.

Inadequate brushing and flossing may cause white and yellow spots to develop on the teeth. This discoloration may negatively affect the overall appearance of one’s smile, which counteracts the braces’ ability to make your smile straighter and nicer.

To ensure that you have a healthy smile after your braces are removed, make sure to take care of your teeth during the process.

HERE ARE A FEW WAYS YOU CAN MAINTAIN ORAL HYGIENE WITH BRACES:

  • Brushing Frequently – When a person eats with braces, there is always a chance that food will get stuck in their braces. Therefore, a person with braces needs to brush as soon as they are done eating. Usually, this means brushing at least three times a day. Brushing frequently should be made into a habit with braces in order to avoid cavities. Use fluoride toothpaste and replace your brush often, as the bristles tend to wear down more quickly with braces.
  • Interdental Brushes – These are small brushes which help to reach every nook and cranny of your teeth and other oral appliances. They help to remove large pieces of rubbish and food from your teeth. Use interdental brushes before you use a normal brush.
  • Flossing – Flossing dislodges the food stuck between your teeth and helps to remove harmful plaque. It may be difficult to floss with braces.
  • Mouthwash – Rinse your mouth with water or a strong mouthwash to help kill the bacteria and remove the biofilm from your tongue.

FLOSSING WITH BRACES

How do you floss when the string always gets stuck in the brace wire? Here are two options that will allow you to do so easily:

  • Traditional flossing with a waxed floss. Take the floss and thread it between the braces’ wire and your teeth in a U shape. Press the floss between your index finger and start moving it up and down gently so as to prevent the floss from getting caught in the wire. For the top teeth, floss in an upside down U shape. Floss up to the gum line. Slowly and gently remove the floss. Repeat the process on your bottom teeth.
  • Waterpik flossing. With a waterpik, you can floss much more quickly. Fill the water reservoir with water. Take the tapered tip and insert it into the water. Press it to make sure that the water goes through the flosser. Place the flosser in your mouth and turn the water flosser on. Allow the water to gently drain from your mouth. Do not spit all of it out at once. Carefully guide the water stream back and forth across your gum line and between your teeth.
  • You can even use dental tape or a floss threader, both of which are much more affordable

Keeping your oral hygiene in check while having braces is crucial so as to prevent any further problems from arising. By using these tips, you will help to ensure that your post-braces smile is as good as can be!

Make an appointment at Bracify 3D Orthodontics to check up on your braces and to ask your orthodontist for more ways to make sure that your treatment goes as smoothly as possible!

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Announcing Our Prosper Location

Bracify 3D Orthodontics

2361 E University Dr. Suite #30
Prosper, TX 75078

Phone: (972) 525-5500

Business Hours
Monday & Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: By Appointment Only
Sunday: Closed

Our Location

The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

The Benefits of Early Orthodontic TreatmentTiming is everything, especially when it comes to your child’s oral health. Orthodontic treatment should begin earlier than most parents realize as certain conditions can become progressively worse if left untreated. Our staff and doctors are happy to help you determine whether or not early orthodontic treatment is necessary for your child.

What is early orthodontic treatment?

Though treatment can be beneficial at any age, early orthodontic treatment can prevent conditions from becoming more severe and leading to extensive treatment later on.

Early orthodontic treatment, also known as an interceptive treatment, refers to orthodontic treatment performed while primary or baby teeth are still present. The goal of this treatment is to intercept and stop the developing problem to guide the proper growth of facial and jawbones as well as provide enough space for incoming teeth.

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), recommends that children recieve an orthodontic screening at the age of seven. This is around the time that the back molars have erupted, and we can begin to identify any conditions or problems that may be developing.

Why should I consider early treatment for my child?

There are several advantages to receiving early orthodontic treatment. Early evaluation provides us with both timely detection and a greater opportunity for a more effective treatment. During this time, a child’s mouth and jaw are still developing allowing treatment to easily correct any misalignments. In the long run, this will allow for shorter, less extensive, and less expensive treatment.

Early treatment can correct and prevent several problems including:

  • Excessively spaced teeth
  • Expand upper or lower arches
  • Malocclusions (underbites, crossbites, any misalignment among the upper and lower teeth)
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Protruding teeth

Is treatment always necessary?

No, not all cases will benefit from early intervention. In some cases, we may monitor your child’s growth before beginning treatment and in other cases, treatment may not be necessary at all. Our staff will conduct a thorough examination to determine the optimal time for treatment.

Will my child need additional treatment later on?

Though treating problems early has the chance of reducing your child’s need for orthodontic treatment later on, your child may still need treatment once all of their permanent teeth have erupted. However, treatment is often shorter in length and less extensive.

Early orthodontic treatment enables your child to avoid lengthy procedures, tooth extractions, and extensive treatment later in life. It also sets a stable foundation for future oral health. For more information on early orthodontic treatment and our services, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Taking Care of Your Smile from Home

Taking Care of Your Smile from HomeDue to COVID-19, many offices closed for patient and staff safety or were open for emergencies only. As our offices begin to reopen, you may be unsure of when you will be able to return for treatment. We understand that part of the success of the orthodontic treatment is showing up for your scheduled appointments, but under these circumstances, it is okay if you need to reschedule for your health. Our staff will work with you when you decide to return to our office to get you back on track with your orthodontic treatment plan.

With limited appointments available, now is the time to take care of your teeth and orthodontic appliance(s) to ensure the best possible result. If you are hesitant to return to our offices as we reopen, here are some steps you can take to handle any potential orthodontic issues and maintain a healthy smile from home.

Tips to keeping your smile healthy

Brush often – Keeping your teeth clean is important no matter the situation. If you can, brush and floss after every meal to keep your appliance clean and to prevent any cavities or other dental health concerns.
Stay on track – Wear your removable appliances such as retainers as prescribed so that you can keep your treatment on track.
Avoid problematic foods and drinks – If you are uncertain of when you will be able to visit us, handle your appliances with care until then. Continue to avoid hard, sticky, or crunchy foods that could potentially damage your appliance.

If you have any questions or concerns, call our office. Even if we aren’t open or if you may not be ready yet to come in for an appointment, we are here for you.

Handling common concerns

It is common to experience some discomfort with orthodontic treatment as your teeth move. Here are some steps you can take to alleviate any discomfort or prevent additional damage to your appliance while staying at home.

We would like to remind you that should any issues or complications arise during your treatment, your orthodontist should be informed immediately.

Supplies

Keep the following items on hand and you will be prepared to handle most orthodontic issues from the comfort of your home.

  • Orthodontic wax
  • Dental floss and flossing aids
  • Interproximal brushes
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash
  • Toothpicks
  • Q-Tips
  • Non-prescription pain relievers
  • Topical oral anesthetics such as Ora-gel

and discomfort

Discomfort and irritation are common experiences with orthodontic treatment, but pain should not persist for more than a few days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and using pain relief medication can help alleviate discomfort felt during treatment.

Irritation felt due to your appliance rubbing against your cheek or lips can be soothed by using orthodontic wax. Make a small ball the size of a pea and flatten the ball over the surface causing irritation. If you run out of wax, it can also be purchased at local stores in the pharmacy section.

Some patients are prone to mouth sores during treatment which can be exacerbated by orthodontic appliances. These sores may appear on the cheeks, lips, or tongue. While not an emergency, they can be uncomfortable. Relief can be achieved by using a small amount of topical oral anesthetics such as Orabase or Ora-Gel.

Appliance Complications

Sometimes elastics or wires can become loose during treatment for various reasons. If you experience any appliance malfunction or complication, contact your orthodontist right away so they can advise you on the situation.

If an O-Ring (elastic rubber band) comes off at home, you can put it back in place using disinfected tweezers. If a wire ligature that holds a bracket in place becomes loose, you should remove it with the tweezers. However, if it is sticking out and not loose, to avoid any pain or discomfort, bend the ligature back down.

Occasionally a wire may work itself out of place and begin to irritate the soft tissues of the mouth. Using the tweezers or Q-Tip, push the wire so that it is flat against your teeth. If the wire cannot be bent or moved into a comfortable position, cover it with orthodontic wax for relief until you can visit your orthodontist.

These are just a few steps you can take to keep your treatment on track. Make sure to stay in contact with your orthodontist about how and when they plan to reopen for routine appointments. Keep in mind you may need to reschedule appointments due to limited availability.

For more information on treating issues at home amid COVID-19, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics office.

Toothpaste and Orthodontics

Toothpaste and OrthodonticsBetween the thousands of brands, different flavors, and claims it is no surprise that people can have a difficult time when choosing a toothpaste. Even some dental professionals admit that it can take time to differentiate between brands and types. If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, it can make the decision even more daunting. To help you we’ve compiled the ultimate toothpaste buying guide to keep your smile healthy and happy.

Common Ingredients

Though there are many forms and types of toothpaste on the market, there are some common ingredients shared by most varieties.

  • Abrasive Agents – These are scratchy particles that work to remove food, bacteria, and minimal stains from the surface of your teeth while you brush. Calcium carbonate is the most common abrasive substance used in toothpaste.
  • Flavoring – Artificial sweeteners are added to make toothpaste taste better. Though many of us associate the flavor of toothpaste with mint, there are many other flavor options on the market such as cinnamon, lemon-lime, and bubblegum.
  • Humectants – Moisturizing agents are used to keep pastes and gels from drying out. The most commonly used humectant for toothpaste is glycerol.
  • Thickening Agents – These agents help to give toothpaste that distinctive consistency and texture that we are used to in our toothpaste.
  • Detergent – Detergents are used to create suds or foams while you brush your teeth. The most commonly used agent for detergents in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate.

Types of Toothpaste

Toothpaste comes in gel, paste, and powdered forms. When it comes to selecting the form of your toothpaste, it is a matter of preference. There are many types of toothpaste on the market and while some may target specific oral concerns, others may cover a variety. Some of the common types of toothpaste include:

  • Fluoride- Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has proven instrumental in reducing tooth decay and preventing cavities dramatically over the last 50 years. Toothpaste that contains fluoride works to strengthen your enamel to prevent acidic damage and also reverses early signs of decay by remineralizing the surface of your teeth. Anti-cavity toothpaste contains higher levels of fluoride than standard options.
  • Tartar-Control- Everyone has bacteria on their teeth known as plaque which can be removed with good oral hygiene habits such as daily brushing and flossing. However, when plaque is left alone, it can harden and form into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional during a cleaning. Tartar-control toothpaste is formulated to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth using chemical compounds such as zinc citrate, thus preventing the buildup of plaque and decreasing the formation of tartar more effectively than other toothpaste.
  • Tooth Sensitivity- Tooth sensitivity occurs when your enamel is damaged and the second layer of your teeth, dentin, is exposed. Specific compounds, such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, desensitize nerve endings in your teeth to offer relief and add a protective layer to the exposed areas.
  • Whitening – Having a whiter smile is a common goal for many people. Whitening toothpaste does not typically use bleach but may contain more abrasive particles or chemicals to polish or remove stains from the surface of your teeth. It is important to discuss whitening toothpaste with your dentist as some can do more harm than good as the use of whitening toothpaste can increase your risk for developing tooth sensitivity. Depending on your goals, you may need professional treatment to achieve your desired results.

 

Brushing with Orthodontics

Toothpaste that contains fluoride is recommended for all patients as fluoride works to reduce tooth decay and protect your enamel from erosion.

If you are straightening your teeth with Invisalign, then your oral hygiene routine can stay the same and your options are endless. For patients who have other forms of orthodontic appliances such as braces, you may need to work a little harder to maintain a clean, cavity-free smile. As always, we suggest a fluoride option, but using tartar-control toothpaste can also help to reduce plaque buildup in those hard to reach areas.

We advise our patients to avoid using whitening toothpaste or products while receiving orthodontic treatment, as these products will only whiten visible areas and may leave patients with uneven colored teeth once your braces are removed.

For more information on which toothpaste to select or how your toothpaste can affect your smile with orthodontic treatment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

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