Orthodontic appliance maintenance and hygiene
Excellent oral hygiene is essential throughout orthodontic treatment. Even though food can get trapped in orthodontic appliances, it is possible to keep your teeth and the appliance clean during treatment by following some basic guidelines.
- Brush your teeth and gums after every meal. If you’re unable to brush your teeth after a meal, be sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.
- Use an interdental brush to gently clean the space between the wire, brackets and teeth.
- Use dental floss at least once a day, preferably before bed. This will prevent dental plaque from remaining on (or in between) your teeth all night. Use a floss threader to make the job easier.
- In some cases, a fluoride mouth rinse may be prescribed to complement your oral hygiene.
Inadequate hygiene at home and missed appointments can result in cavities, decalcification, discoloured teeth, gingivitis, periodontal disease, etc. These same problems can occur even without orthodontic treatment, but orthodontic appliances will trap more food and retain more bacterial plaque.