Oral Hygiene Care

Maintaining good hygiene requires special care while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. As you eat, your teeth and appliances collect food. If the food is left in the mouth, especially overnight, a thick plaque forms on the teeth and gums. This plaque causes tooth decay, decalcification (white markings on the teeth), and could lead to gum disease.

Bleeding and swollen gums are usually a sure sign that plaque is not being removed. If your gums are swollen, your teeth will not move into their new positions as easily and you will experience more discomfort. Follow these guidelines for a clean, healthy smile during your orthodontic treatment:

Dr. Cardarelli working at the lab

Your orthodontic appointments are not substitutes for your regular hygiene appointments with your dentist. Continue to see your dentist and hygienist for regular cleanings. Good oral health greatly affects your orthodontic treatment. Poor oral hygiene invites decay and slows treatment down.

Tips for Excellent Oral Hygiene:

  • Use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • A soft bristled brush is recommended – replace when the bristles get “shaggy”.
  • Continue to use all hygiene aids (such as waterpics, electric toothbrushes, fluoride rinses, flossing aids) as recommended and include them in your regular routine.
  • A special fluoride gel may be prescribed if needed.
  • Use a timer or watch to measure your brushing time, as “more time is needed to effectively clean around appliances. Five minutes is a good amount of time.
  • Waxed Floss will not fray and a floss threader is helpful in guiding dental floss under wires.
  • Remember to brush removable appliances that you may be wearing as these also will collect plaque.
….. When You Wake
….. After Eating, Whenever Possible
….. Before you go to Bed (most important of all!)