What Is the Ideal Oral Health Routine During Ortho?

Oral Health

Alright people, let’s get real. Brushing your teeth is not an easy task, and many of us need help to know how to do it right. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Let’s take a closer look at one area where many patients still have plenty of questions. What’s the best way to brush your teeth with braces? Should you floss or brush your teeth first?

One thing should be clear by now. Your dental hygiene during ortho is critical to your treatment’s success. We don’t just say this as a slogan or a scratched record (is that reference too old by now?); we know you’ve heard plenty of dental health professionals say you should brush your teeth and avoid problems with your teeth, but it’s for a really good reason.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay prevalence increases with age in young adults and teenagers; furthermore, the NIH estimates that 92% of all US adults between the ages of 20 to 64 have had dental caries. You could avoid being one of these statistics with a good oral hygiene routine.

What Is The Ideal Oral Health Routine?

The best dental hygiene routine includes good tooth brushing habits, using dental floss to remove all food debris from between your teeth, and using mouthwash to rinse at the end and have a minty-fresh breath.

The specifics, of course, vary for every patient. In general, you would want to use an appropriate toothbrush for your condition. Remember that patients wearing braces as part of their ortho treatment and those with gum disease or bleeding gums should stick to soft-bristled toothbrushes.

You should also determine if dental floss is the best tool for you or if you’d prefer using a tool like an interdental brush. Water irrigators are also very useful for patients who want to be thorough with their dental hygiene routine.

How Long Should I Brush My Teeth For?

You should brush your teeth for about 2 minutes every time. Make sure you clean all the surfaces of every tooth. This means moving around to brush the labial, lingual, and chewing surfaces of each tooth to remove all remaining food particles that could instead remain there, attracting harmful bacteria and developing plaque.

Use a circular motion and avoid pressing down towards your tooth with too much force. Being gentle on your teeth and gums during your tooth brushing routine goes a long way.

Should I Floss or Brush First?

Usually, we would say that the order of the factors won’t affect the result; however, citing a 2018 study that caught the attention of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), we would have to say that flossing before you brush your teeth seems to yield better results.

Researchers found that using dental floss before you brush would be far more efficient in thoroughly removing dental plaque from around your teeth. This minor change to your routine could help increase the fluoride concentration delivered from the toothpaste to your dental structures, strengthening your teeth’ enamel layers and remineralizing them to resist the tooth decay we talked about before.

Give it a try and mix things up for some time to increase your resistance to harmful agents that could harm your dental health.

Certainly, using dental floss could prove challenging for patients with braces and other orthodontic appliances, so consider switching your dental floss for an interdental brush for similar results. Here at McDonald Orthodontics, Dr. John McDonald and all the team wish to help our ortho patients achieve the best results and avoid the problems of dental hygiene during their treatment.

Is a Professional Dental Cleaning Necessary?

Yes, and you should consider getting one every 6 months. Unfortunately, there just are things we can’t do at home. As plaque forms around your teeth and tartar follow suit, you will notice a film around your teeth that’s silently damaging each tooth.

You can trust that your efficient dental hygiene routine will stave off the development of plaque, but if it remains around your teeth and becomes tartar, you won’t be able to remove it by brushing or using dental floss.

Dental hygienists use specialized tools, such as a scaler to scrape the plaque off of your teeth. Doing so will help prevent the plaque film from forming around the gum line and cause gingivitis or other forms of gum disease.

The same is true for tartar. These special tools are the only ones that can help remove the yellow or brownish growths around your teeth that could cause a receding gum line, periodontitis, and potential tooth loss.

Do You Brush Your Teeth Before Having Your Teeth Cleaned?

You can, but you don’t have to. That being said, patients who brush their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush before coming to the dentist or orthodontist let us assess the area much better. Not to mention it’s much nicer to work around a clean area.

If you’re going to eat before coming to our office, try doing so a couple of hours before, and brush your teeth after every meal to reduce the risk of developing tooth decay. This is particularly true if you’re wearing braces. We don’t want to leave any food caught between your brackets or archwires and teeth.

Please remember to continue brushing your teeth and using dental floss regularly after your dental cleaning to prevent new food particles and staining drinks from doing a number on your newly cleaned teeth.

Get Help From the Best Orthodontist Salem Has

The team at our Salem office wants to make you feel welcomed and sure that you will receive all the help you require. Orthodontic treatment requires paying a lot of attention to little details that ensure the best results, and our team of professionals is here to help you keep track of everything. Get in touch with us to determine what works best for your case and how you can get that dreamy, healthy, and perfect smile.