Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene with Braces

Oral hygiene is very important for everyone, but it is often difficult to get children with braces to understand the importance of keeping their teeth and gums clean. In our office we reward good oral hygiene with our Willy’s Wooden Nickels Reward Program. When patients come in for their appointment and they have good oral hygiene and no broken brackets, we give them a wooden nickel that they save and turn in for cool prizes when they get their braces off!

Once a patient gets braces it is important that they take a little extra time and effort in keeping their teeth clean, so when their braces come off and their teeth are straight, they have sparkling pearly white teeth to show off. By taking good care of your teeth now, you'll get the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment.
One of the ways that we help our patients maintain good oral hygiene, is by providing them with a Rota-dent Toothbrush when they get their braces on. The Rota-dent toothbrush is specially made for people with braces. It has 2 interchangeable heads, a flat one to get the surface of the teeth and under the gumline and second one with a pointed head to get underneath the wires and around the brackets.  The Rota-Dent electric toothbrush is a "patented microfilament brush" that has finer bristles than a manual toothbrush. The bristles are soft and thin enough to reach deep under the gum line where pockets form and bacteria gathers, causing plaque buildup and gingivitis. By using the Rota-dent on a consistent basis along with flossing, patients can reduce their chances of developing cavities, gingivitis or decalcification of the teeth.
Flossing can also prove to be especially challenging to someone with braces, so it is important to know the correct and best way to floss between the teeth when there are brackets and wires in the way. 
  •          When flossing with braces on, it might be necessary to use what's called a floss threader. The floss threader allows you to get dental floss underneath your archwire easily.
  •          Cut off about 12-14 inches of floss and loop it through your threader, then run the threader under your archwire between two brackets, and, holding one end of the floss, gently pull the threader off. 
  •      Loop the ends of the floss around your index fingers, forming a "C," and gently floss between your teeth as you normally would. Make sure to carefully clean along your gumline on both sides. When finished between two teeth, just pull the floss through, re-thread the floss through the loop, and repeat the process between your next pair of teeth.
It's also a good idea to get into the habit of flossing at night before you go to bed, so you won't be rushed. Flossing with braces on may be challenging at first, but with a little practice, it will become easier and faster with time.

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