At Shiney Smiles Orthodontics, maintaining oral health can sometimes feel overwhelming, considering the extra steps needed to keep your teeth in shape with an orthodontic appliance, but don’t worry! Our team is here to make things easier by breaking down exactly what you need to do to maintain good oral health with orthodontic treatment so you can protect your teeth wherever you are. By following these steps, you can preserve your teeth for a lifetime!
Amazingly so, drinking water is one of the best natural ways to protect your teeth. It contains a natural mineral called fluoride, the same ingredient in many toothpastes, that cleans them of plaque, bacteria, and stains. Drinking water during the day even dilutes the acids created in your mouth from sugary foods, preventing cavities. Keeping a bottle with you as often as possible will strengthen your teeth and benefit your general health.
Brush Your Teeth
When you think of oral health and hygiene, the first thing you most likely think of is brushing your teeth. This twice-daily routine is a cornerstone in maintaining the strength of your teeth and preserving their enamel for years to come.
Though this step is necessary with or without an orthodontic appliance, it is essential to keep up this routine while wearing one to get rid of any stray food particles from your last meal. Dr. Sheinis recommends keeping a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste on you to additionally clean your teeth after eating. Doing so protects your teeth from tooth decay and saves you the trouble of dealing with more complicated issues later.
Proper Technique With The Proper Tools
To brush your teeth effectively, we suggest using a soft-bristled toothbrush along with fluoride toothpaste. This combination protects your tooth enamel and prevents cavities from developing.
All you need to do is use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and place your brush at a 45-degree angle at your gum line. Move the brush in a circular motion around each tooth. Repeat on both the appliance as well as each surface of your teeth. Continue brushing for at least five minutes to clean all areas properly.
Flossing Your Teeth
While you don’t have to floss after each meal, flossing at least once a day will keep your teeth safe from plaque buildup. Many patients do so at night to get rid of any leftover food particles from the day’s meals, but any point of the day when you can make the time is beneficial for your oral health.
If you wear an appliance with wires during your orthodontic treatment, flossing may prove challenging using just the string or stick. In this case, Shiney Smiles Orthodontics will provide you with a unique tool called a threader that you can weave between your teeth to get underneath the wire, allowing you to clean hard-to-reach areas.
Rinse With Mouthwash
A great way to complement your oral health is by using mouthwash at the end of your daily routine. It can do a lot to boost your oral health, such as removing plaque, fighting tooth decay, preventing cavities, and even freshening up bad breath. Some mouthwash formulas include fluoride, the same natural ingredient in water and toothpaste, which builds up your protection against tooth decay and preserves your enamel.
A Variety of Options
There are many different kinds of mouthwash available, including fluoride, cosmetic, natural, whitening, and antiseptic, each aiding your teeth differently. Choosing the type that best serves your dental needs can boost your tooth health. Dr. Sheinis will happily offer you a recommendation based on your needs and what he believes they would most benefit from.
It is important to remember it does not serve as a substitute for brushing and flossing but acts as the cherry on top of your dental care routine!
Your Step-By-Step Care Routine
The effectiveness of your oral care routine partly depends on the order in which you clean your teeth. Going out of order will not harm your teeth but reduce the efficiency of particular steps. Regardless of the sequence in which your teeth are polished, the most crucial thing in your daily oral health routine is consistency and thoroughness.
1. Rinse With Water
As mentioned above, drinking water throughout the day is a fantastic first step in keeping your teeth naturally clean. Having a cup before beginning your routine can help to break up food particles before the brush even touches your teeth, allowing the next step to be even more effective.
Now, it is time to brush your teeth! Following the proper technique explained earlier will ensure each surface of your teeth gets cleaned and your orthodontic appliance stays in pristine condition.
Remember to scrape your tongue and the roof of your mouth, where many harmful bacteria live. Simply brushing reduces the outer layer of bacteria, but cleaning them directly ensures you get rid of what is resting below the surface.
Once you have finished rinsing and brushing, grab your floss and threader. It can dislodge any particularly stubborn pieces of food and remove plaque between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. Using the threaders when wearing an appliance with wires is the most efficient way of reaching down each tooth. Our team will happily add to your supply at your next appointment when you run out.
The final step of your daily routine, mouthwash adds an extra layer of protection to freshen your teeth and gums. This addition to your routine is not required but is just another way of ensuring you stay on top of your oral health and keep everything in excellent condition!
Good Oral Health Goes A Long Way
We are passionate about making oral care and health feel more accessible and achievable for all of our patients! Remember: protecting your teeth now means healthy teeth for a lifetime! Dr. Sheinis and our team at Shiney Smiles Orthodontics proudly serve the orthodontic needs of Huntington, Woodbury, and the surrounding communities. Give our office a call to schedule your free consultation and get started on treatment today!