Orthodontic treatment is a common way to correct crooked or misaligned teeth, but it requires extra care to maintain good oral health. Braces can make it difficult to clean teeth properly and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Here are some tips for managing braces and orthodontic treatment for good oral health.
1. Brush and floss regularly: Braces can trap food particles and plaque, making it essential to brush and floss regularly to remove them. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste to brush twice a day, and floss at least once a day.
2. Use interdental brushes: Interdental brushes can help clean between the brackets and wires of braces. They are small, cone-shaped brushes that fit between teeth and brackets, removing plaque and food particles that can lead to decay.
3. Watch what you eat: Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can damage or dislodge braces. Cut fruits and vegetables into small pieces, and avoid sugary or starchy foods that can increase the risk of tooth decay.
4. Wear a mouthguard for sports: Wearing a mouthguard while playing sports can help protect teeth and braces from damage. Custom-fitted mouthguards are recommended for the best protection.
5. Visit the orthodontist regularly: Regular appointments with the orthodontist are essential for monitoring the progress of treatment and making adjustments as needed. They can also check for any signs of decay or gum disease and recommend treatment if necessary.
6. Consider a water flosser: Water flossers can help remove plaque and food particles from around braces and are less likely to cause irritation than traditional floss. Ask your orthodontist if a water flosser is right for you.
7. Use fluoride treatments: Fluoride treatments can help prevent tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel. Ask your orthodontist about fluoride treatments, and consider using a fluoride mouthwash at home.
Managing braces and orthodontic treatment requires extra effort, but it’s essential for good oral health. With the right care and attention, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout the course of your treatment.