Miriam is Abbey’s Oral health advisor, who is on hand to give extra help for patients that require additional support throughout their treatment. Here are a few hints about oral health to help patients during their orthodontic treatment.
The British Orthodontics Society website has some really useful information about oral health during orthodontic treatment.
Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment
Clean teeth and healthy gums are vital during treatment. Braces will give straight teeth but it is up to the patient to keep them clean and free of plaque. This is in order to prevent unsightly permanent white marks appearing on the teeth.
An example of white marks that are permanent this is caused by poor oral hygiene and fizzy drinks.
To keep teeth in TipTop condition…
Clean teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes.
If train tracks are in place effective cleaning can only be achieved when using 3 toothbrushes as below.
An Orthodontic brush is similar to a normal toothbrush but with a groove in the middle to allow cleaning around the braces. With this toothbrush the gums are being massaged as well as plaque being removed form the tooth surface. To clean with this brush use small circular movements on the tooth and gums just cleaning one tooth at a time.
Interspace toothbrush use this brush above and below each bracket then on the gum margin where the tooth meets the gums.
Underwire brush – cleans under the wire between the brackets.
Each toothbrush does an individual job and it is very important to use all 3 toothbrushes every time
Included in fixed braces packs at Abbey Orthodontics are disclosing tablets and mouthwash. Disclosing tablets show up PLAQUE which is an invisible sticky film on the teeth. These tablets should be used once a week to show up areas which are being missed when tooth brushing.
Fluoride mouthwash helps to repair the teeth preventing white marks appearing on the teeth. It should be used once a day just before going to bed.
Diet during Orthodontic treatment
EATING AND DRINKING THE WRONG FOODS CAN HAVE A SERIOUS IMPACT ON THE HEALTH OF YOUR TEETH AND GUMS DURING AND AFTER TREATMENT.
Diet plays a vital role in orthodontics. Poor diet could mean prolonged treatment, repeated visits to the orthodontist to have braces repaired or permanent white marks on the teeth.
DO NOT HAVE FIZZY DRINKS DURING ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
The best drinks to have are Milk, Water, squash with no added sugar, or Tea and Coffee without sugar.
Avoid Sugar Confectionery such as sticky or chewy sweets, toffees, mints, hard boiled sweets and CHEWING GUM.
An occasional treat of some chocolate is OK but be careful not to have chocolate with toffee in or block chocolate out of the fridge.
BEWARE of biting into hard foods such as apples, crusty bread, carrots as this could take brackets off. Cut these up and chew them on the back teeth.