How to Maintain Good Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment

The smile of your dreams is more than just perfectly aligned. It’s also healthy! Before Dr. Botsford of Botsford Family Orthodontics can begin your orthodontic treatment, your teeth and gums must be in good condition! Moving unhealthy teeth can lead to unnecessary complications, and at the end of treatment, healthy teeth are more aesthetically pleasing and are more likely to look how you imagined. This means you need to know how to maintain good oral health during orthodontic treatment!

Brush Properly…

You’ve probably heard your entire life how important brushing your teeth is. Brushing your teeth removes bacteria and plaque that cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum infections.

If your parents, guardians, or dentists told you about the power of brushing, you might wonder what makes this worthy to be on the “How To Maintain Good Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment” list. Well, if you become a patient with fixed metal or clear braces, how you brush your teeth will change. Your technique will make all the difference, we can promise you!

Here’s how to properly brush with braces:

  • Rinse the mouth with water first.
  • Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently clean along the gumline.
  • Angle your brush to clean the top and bottom of your brackets and wire.
  • Brush the front of the brackets.
  • Clean the back or inside of the teeth.
  • Brush the chewing and biting surfaces of the teeth.
  • Repeat on the other row of teeth.

The whole process should take around two minutes! 

…And Brush Often!

During orthodontic treatment, you will need to brush a little more often than before. Because food can easily get stuck in your brackets and wires, you should brush after every meal. We recommend carrying a travel-size toothbrush (and floss, but we’ll get to that in a second) with you to work or school so that you can refresh after. Not only will this keep your breath fresh, but it will also keep you from walking around with food in your braces!

Though patients with Invisalign or uLab Systems clear aligners don’t need to change their brushing technique, we still encourage you to carry a travel-size toothbrush (and floss) everywhere you go. Rinsing your mouth and brushing your teeth after meals before wearing your clear aligners will help preserve their transparency for as long as possible and remove food that can become plaque.

Don’t Forget To Floss!

Now, let’s talk floss! Consistent flossing has a tremendous positive effect on oral hygiene and health because it helps remove plaque, food, and bacteria from places your toothbrush can’t reach! This step in your oral hygiene routine is essential to your oral health during orthodontic treatment.

To keep you from joining the roughly 32% of Americans who don’t floss, we’re going to tell you some flossing tips!

  • Floss threaders can make slipping thread floss between your teeth effortless.
  • Water flossers are excellent tools for removing stubborn substances from your teeth and gums. 
  • Interproximal brushes are fantastic for flossing behind the wire. Their reusability and small size make them perfect for at-home or on-the-go use.
  • Wax floss is easier to slide between the teeth.
How to Maintain Good Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment

See Your Dentist!

An easy way to maintain your oral health is to see your dentist! What makes it so easy? You only have to see them every six months (or as frequently as your dentist advises), and while you’re there, you can sit back and relax while the hygienist and dentist do their job. 

Dentists are fantastic oral healthcare providers whose most significant goal is to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. When you see your dental team regularly, it allows them to check your mouth for signs of decay, infection, and disease. Your dentist is usually the first person to notice something is wrong, and they can either provide treatment or refer you to a specialist to resolve the issue before it worsens.  

At your regular examinations, you also get a professional tooth cleaning to remove bacteria and plaque that inevitably build up over time. You might even get a fluoride treatment to reinforce your enamel and reduce your chances of cavities! Dental teams can be a great resource for personalized advice based on your unique needs so that you have fresher breath and healthier teeth between sessions!

Clean Your Removable Appliances!

Even though you take your Invisalign and uLab Systems aligners out to brush and floss your teeth and gums and eat and drink anything other than water, your aligners still need to be cleaned. Over time, your trays will develop the same bacteria and plaque found on your teeth and gumline. If you clean your teeth but not your aligners, you risk developing oral health issues as the harmful particles spread from the trays to your mouth.

Fortunately, cleaning your clear aligners takes only a few minutes a day. Carefully follow the cleaning instructions provided by Botsford Family Orthodontics to preserve your health and the transparency of your trays.

Drink Plenty Of Water!

Staying hydrated is not only essential for overall health but also plays a pivotal role in maintaining oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Drinking ample water throughout the day helps wash away food particles and residual sugars that might cling to braces and teeth. If left unchecked, these particles can lead to plaque buildup and potential tooth decay. 

How to Maintain Good Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment

Lastly, Visit Botsford Family Orthodontics!

To get the most helpful tips for maintaining oral health during orthodontic treatment, visit Dr. Botsford! She is always happy to give customized guidance so that you can achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Contact us today to get started with a FREE consultation or to ask a knowledgeable team member at Botsford Family Orthodontics your questions. If necessary, our front desk team can help you book an appointment with Dr. Botsford or point you in the right direction to find answers.

We can’t wait to hear from you!