Top Tips For Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment

Before we begin your treatment at Buttram Orthodontics, we thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and check their health. Moving your teeth when they’re unhealthy could be unnecessarily uncomfortable and dangerous.

But prioritizing your good health continues even after treatment begins! You must keep your teeth and gums in good condition during orthodontic care so your smile can be beautiful and healthy when treatment ends.

Navigating your oral health can be confusing and intimidating, but Buttram Orthodontics can make it easy! Let’s go over some of our top tips for oral health during treatment to get you started.

Upgrade Your Toothbrush.

Adequately brushing your teeth is essential to removing harmful bacteria and plaque from the teeth and gums that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues. 

Over Brushing can strip the teeth of their protective enamel and push down the gum line. Underbrushing can leave behind bacteria and plaque that can dissolve the enamel. Weakened enamel and gum lines leave the teeth vulnerable to harm.

Upgrading your toothbrush is a simple yet effective way of improving your oral hygiene routine. We recommend you switch to an automatic toothbrush that, at minimum, has a timer and pressure sensor. The pressure sensor will notify you if you are brushing with too much pressure (which can, again, strip the enamel). A timer could tell you when to move to another section of your mouth and/or tell you when you should be done brushing. 

There are even some toothbrushes that have GPS and phone apps. These offer users unique tips and advice based on their specific brushing technique.

Ask Dr. Buttram or your dentist for recommendations that will suit your needs.

Be Picky About Your Toothpaste And Mouthwash.

What product you use to clean your teeth is just as important as the tool you use! Just like with your toothbrush, the best product for you depends on your goals, needs, and lifestyle, but there are three things that every orthodontic patient should think about when choosing toothpaste and mouthwash.

  1. Be Mindful Of The Ingredients. – You don’t want your toothpaste or mouthwash to have harsh ingredients. Acidity created by intense chemicals can cause your braces to rust and create discoloration in your clear braces or aligners. 
  2. Look For Fluoride. – Fluoride is a nature-made chemical already found in your teeth and bones. It’s even in your tap water! Fluoride can strengthen enamel and protect the teeth against tooth decay. The amount of fluoride a person needs is not the same for everyone. Be sure to ask your dentist or Dr. Buttram for instructions before incorporating fluoride into your daily routine.
  3. Avoid Whitening Agents – We know you want pearly whites, but you don’t want to use whitening agents when you are undergoing treatment, especially if you have a bonded appliance. Using whitening products when you are in treatment runs the risk of only whitening parts of your teeth. When your appliances are removed, there will be a noticeable difference in colors. It can be time-consuming and frustrating to get the teeth all one color after this happens, so we strongly suggest just waiting until you finish your orthodontic journey before using any whitening products. If you have clear aligners, ask Dr. Buttram before using whitening agents.

Invest In A Water Flosser & Interproximal Brush.

Another way to elevate your routine is to invest in a water flosser and interproximal brush if you haven’t already.

A water flosser is a machine that uses streams of water to rid the mouth of stubborn bacteria and plaque. It is a great addition to any routine, whether you have braces or clear aligners or are not in treatment at all. It can clean all the nooks and crannies of your braces and get between the hard-to-reach places between the teeth if you have severe crowding in the mouth. It is important to remember, however, that water flossers should be used in addition to traditional wax flossing and not be a replacement.

An interproximal brush is a round brush that is small enough to slip between the teeth and between brackets but is large enough to effectively scrub the areas clean. This is a great tool for on-the-go patients who might need a refresher throughout the day, such as cleaning the mouth of food after lunch. Patients who struggle with wax flossing might be able to make the switch to interproximal brushes completely. Ask Dr. Buttram if this is an option for you.

Attend Your Dental Checkups.

Did you know that orthodontists attend dental school? It’s true! Even still, an orthodontist should not be your main oral healthcare provider. You still need to attend your yearly dental checkups to maintain exemplary oral health. At these checkups, your dental team will photograph and X-ray your mouth. They will also professionally clean your teeth and apply a fluoride treatment if necessary. Afterwards, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth and look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, infection, oral cancer, and other causes for concern. If needed, they will set up a treatment plan with you or refer you to a specialist.

Attending these appointments as frequently as recommended by our dentist is crucial to your oral health. These dental sessions allow you and your time to find and treat problems before they can cause costly or permanent problems to your smile’s health or appearance.

Clean Your Clear Aligners.

Since you remove your clean aligners for eating and drinking, it may seem like there’s no need to clean them, but that’s not true! You should clean your aligners once or twice a day. Aligners can harbor the same bacteria and plaque that is found on your teeth and gums. If you brush and floss but don’t clean your retainers, your mouth is still unclean!

Cleaning your Invisalign trays is easy and only takes a few minutes. Dr. Buttram will give you specific instructions at your appointment.

Top Tips For Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment

For An Exceptional Experience And Stunning Results, Visit Us At Buttram Orthodontics! 

Your oral health is just as important to us as your teeth and jaw alignments! We love helping people improve their smiles, oral health, and routines! 

To get personalized recommendations on how to preserve your oral health for a beautiful, healthy smile during and after treatment, contact us today to speak to a wonderful member of our team.

If you are a new patient, schedule your free consultation with us to discover which treatment options you qualify for!

Don’t delay, contact Buttram Orthodontics today to start your orthodontic journey and improve your oral health during orthodontic treatment. We look forward to seeing you and your family soon!