Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential for everyone. However, it’s more critical when you are receiving orthodontic treatment. This is because the tools used in orthodontic treatment easily trap particles between your teeth.
These tools include clear aligners and braces. While these tools are efficient in correcting teeth misalignment, they make it difficult to clean your teeth. Below are essential dental care tips from a Louisville orthodontist to help you maintain good oral hygiene:
1. Control Your Diet
When undergoing treatment, it’s essential to avoid drinks and foods that may increase your chances of tooth decay. This means reducing your consumption of foods and beverages with too much sugar, such as candy, ice cream, and soda. You should also cut down on foods that get stuck in braces, such as licorice, caramels, gum, and toffee.
Certain foods that are too sticky or hard to chew could potentially damage your braces and teeth aligners. Unfortunately, broken retainers and braces will not be effective in straightening and aligning your teeth. Thus, it’s advisable to avoid foods such as hard beef jerky, nuts, candies, and pizza crust.
Supplement these foods with healthier food options. These include apples, carrots, and vegetables. However, remember to cut your fruits and vegetables into small sizes first before eating.
Avoid chewing on pencils, ice, and biting your nails as these are dangerous habits that could harm your teeth and damage your orthodontic tools.
2. Always Brush Your Teeth Before Bed
Ensure you always brush your teeth every day before going to bed. This will help you protect your teeth against gum diseases, tooth decay, and plaque buildup. This also ensures that your orthodontics devices are clean and well maintained.
Brushing your teeth before bed is part of building good habits. Additionally, dentists advise that individuals who are vulnerable to gum diseases and cavities brush their teeth after having dinner then once more before going to bed.
3. Be Gentle When Brushing Your Teeth
Dentists advise that the most effective way to clean your teeth is to brush in short, gentle strokes going back and forth. Start with your teeth’ outer surface, then move on to the inner surface and finish off with the teeth’ chewing surface. Use your toothbrush’s tip to effectively clean the backside of your front teeth by gently stroking them from top to bottom.
4. Get an Electric Toothbrush
According to research, an electric toothbrush is more effective than a traditional toothbrush. That’s because an electric toothbrush’s oscillating and rotating motions are more effective in removing all the plaque on your teeth surface than the conventional toothbrush.
Switching to a rechargeable toothbrush will improve your dental hygiene. But ensure you choose an easy-to-hold toothbrush to ensure you’re more comfortable.
5. Remember Also to Floss Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth doesn’t always get all the plaque from your teeth. Some food particles are often stuck in between teeth spaces. Thus, flossing will help you get these particles out while they’re still soft and easy to remove.
If you don’t floss, the food particles left after brushing attract bacteria that multiply in your mouth while you are asleep. Moreover, if plaque is left to harden, it turns into tartar. A toothbrush can’t remove tartar; you have to visit a dentist or a dental hygienist to get the tartar professionally removed.
The dentist will perform a professional teeth cleaning procedure to help you remove this tartar. Therefore, ensure you floss at least once per day just before bed. However, if you are susceptible to tartar buildup and gum diseases, it’s advisable to floss twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed.
6. Use Mouthwash
Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash is part of good oral care. Most people think that mouthwash is only used for getting rid of bad breath. However, a medicinal mouthwash often contains ingredients to help treat specific dental issues and make your teeth stronger.
After brushing your teeth at night, ensure you rinse with a medicinal mouthwash. This will help you avoid cavities, plaque, gingivitis, and other gum diseases.
But be wary of cosmetic mouthwash brands sold over-the-counter as they are known to contribute very little to improve one’s oral health. That’s because they mask your bad breath instead of treating the underlying issue. Before purchasing a mouthwash, ask your dentist for guidance on the right mouthwash for you.
7. Visit Your Dentist Frequently
Even when going through orthodontic treatment, it’s essential to visit your dentist frequently for dental cleaning and checkups.
While your orthodontist will be focusing on improving your teeth’ alignment and bite, your dentist will ensure that your teeth and gums are clean and healthy to avoid gum and teeth-related diseases. Remember that regular dental visits are part of taking care of your teeth to prevent potential diseases and keep your mouth healthy.
8. Quit Smoking
If you are an active smoker, you have probably had people tell you about the potential health effects of smoking. Unfortunately, smoking is not suitable for your health. Tobacco products, including cigarettes, have adverse effects on your dental health.
Smoking creates tartar and plaque on your teeth and makes it easier for bacteria to stick to your gums and teeth. According to research, cigarette smokers are more likely to develop dental and gum illnesses than no-smokers.
Cigarette smoking can also change the color of your teeth, your breath and lead to cancer. Ensure you avoid smoking any tobacco products to maintain good oral hygiene.
Contact a Louisville Orthodontist Today
Your dental care starts with you. Taking care of your teeth while still going through orthodontic treatment is essential to ensure nothing goes wrong along the way. If you’re looking for the best Louisville orthodontist, check out White, Greer, and Maggard Orthodontics.
At White, Greer, and Maggard Orthodontics, we are committed to providing our patients with great smiles. Our team of professional experts is highly committed to providing the best care for our patients. Contact us today for all your orthodontics needs.