Oral Hygiene

Keep Teeth Clean During Orthodontic Treatment

Hollevoet Orthodontics strives to be your choice when you’re looking for an orthodontist in Bismarck, Devils Lake, and Dickinson, ND. We make it our mission to give all of our patients beautiful and healthy smiles which we accomplish through our orthodontic treatments that include braces and Invisalign. When you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, it becomes even more critical to maintain your oral hygiene. Not only do you have to keep your teeth and gums clean, but you have to dislodge the food particles that get trapped in your appliances. This makes it easier to accumulate plaque, one of the biggest detractors toward maintaining proper oral hygiene.
Healthy vs unhealthy.

The Dangers of Plaque

Plaque is a thin coating of microorganisms and organic debris that contains potentially harmful bacteria. It forms when food particles get trapped near the tooth surfaces. The bacteria in plaque digest the sugars in foods, producing acids that may erode teeth or irritate gums. This may cause bad breath, white spots on teeth, cavities, or even gum disease.
Braces and other orthodontic appliances make it more attractive to plaque and make it harder to remove the plaque because of all the places food particles can get trapped. If you want to have healthy teeth and gums, you need to keep plaque under control. There are three main ways to do this: through daily maintenance, proper dieting, and professional care.

Proper Dieting

When you’re wearing braces, there are certain foods to avoid. Foods that are hard and foods that are sticky can cause damage to your orthodontic appliances by breaking or loosening the wires and brackets. It’s encouraged to continue eating healthy foods like carrots and apples, but you need to cut them into bite-sized pieces first.

Also, for proper dieting, it’s recommended to avoid foods that can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. This means cutting down or even eliminating foods with an excess of sugar.

Daily Maintenance

How to Clean Teeth With Braces

While it’s apparent how important brushing and flossing is for keeping a healthy smile, it becomes much harder to clean your teeth effectively when you’re dealing with your appliance’s brackets and wires. For your convenience, we can offer a handful of tips to help with your cleaning.

A soft-bristle or bi-level toothbrush can be effective in plaque removal even with braces. An electric toothbrush is also useful as long as it’s only used on a moderate setting. For hard-to-clean areas, we recommend using an interdental toothbrush, also known as a proxabrush. The small bristles of this tooth-cleaning aid are great at getting in between brackets, wires, and teeth. This will help you get into the smallest nooks and crannies and also allow you to limit plaque buildup.

How to Clean Clear Aligners

You should also floss at least once a day during orthodontic treatment. There are special kinds of products including floss threaders and particular floss that will help you get the floss between the wires and the gum line. Our staff will go over proper brushing and flossing techniques with you when you get your braces put on, but if you have any further questions, always feel free to ask!

Also, depending on your situation, we may recommend an in-office or at-home supplemental fluoride treatment to boost your cavity resistance. An antiseptic rinse may also be helpful to ease minor gum inflammation or irritation.

How to Clean Removable RetainersIf you have a retainer, it should be brushed daily in the same way you brush your teeth. We may recommend a cleaning solution, though it’s important to know that you should never put hot water on your retainer. The hot water can distort the plastic and make it unusable. Also, make sure to keep your retainer in a case when you’re not using it.

Professional Care

Even though you’re seeing your orthodontist, you still need to see your regular dentist. In fact, it’s more important than ever now! While we’re focused on making sure that your teeth are in perfect alignment and your bite is functioning properly, your dentist will make sure that your teeth stay healthy with thorough examinations and cleanings. Your orthodontic treatment is a team effort where everyone involved is determined to give you a winning smile! 

Contact Your Bismarck, Devils Lake, and Dickinson, ND Orthodontist!

If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with us, we encourage you to fill out our online appointment request form. Alternatively, you can give us a call at (701) 751-1981. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to meeting you and keeping your smile as healthy as it can be!

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