Why Plaque is Dangerous
The importance of hygiene during orthodontic treatment is paramount. As you eat, your teeth, braces, and appliances collect food. If food gets left on teeth overnight, a thick plaque forms on the teeth and gums. This plaque is the source of all kinds of trouble for your mouth. Not only does it look and smell bad, but it’s really bad for your mouth health and can interfere with your orthodontic treatment.
Plaque Causes Problems
Plaque causes bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease (swollen, puffy, red, overgrown, or bleeding gums). If you have bleeding and swollen gums, these are a sure sign that you aren’t properly removing plaque buildup. Your teeth will not move as easily if your gums are swollen and inflamed, and you will experience more discomfort during orthodontic treatment.
Worse, if left unclean, white spots or decay will form on the teeth under and around your braces and appliances. These spots will remain after your treatment is over if you don’t improve your oral hygiene care. It’s discouraging to work hard to straighten teeth, only to find decay or white spots left behind when your braces are removed. Don’t let it happen to you!
Tips For Taking Care
We’ve provided a series of blog posts dedicated to brushing, flossing, and other oral care needs you’ll have during your treatment. Here are a few tips to help make your orthodontic treatment as healthy and successful as possible:
- Try sitting down in front of the TV every day with a toothbrush (without toothpaste), and massage the teeth and gums for about 30 minutes. That will give you plenty of time to do a good job, and makes TV time more productive.
- Brush your teeth while listening to music or studying. You may want to use toothpaste to freshen your breath (don’t use toothpaste during 30 minutes listed above).
- To concentrate better, use your left hand if you are right handed, and vice versa.
- Continue your regular dental checkups, even though your braces get checked regularly. It’s very important to continue seeing your family dentist at least every six months for a thorough examination and cleaning of your teeth. If you experience difficulty with good oral hygiene, you might need to see your dentist more frequently.
Using proper oral care techniques to clear your mouth of plaque helps ensure treatment success and you can enjoy your new smile for years to come. If you experience any issues with plaque during your treatment, please let us know. Dr. Black will be happy to help you learn the best techniques to combat poor oral hygiene.