The alignment of teeth is usually achieved by means of fixed or removable appliances worn over a period of time. These appliances although effective, can create a number of dental problems if not maintained correctly. The wires utilized to reposition the teeth and the brackets to which they are attached form food traps and can very quickly accumulate plaque resulting in tooth decay and gingival inflammation.
This can be easily avoided by proper home care as follows:
- Tooth brushing: Place the toothbrush below the brackets and work the bristles upwards in a vibrating motion between the braces; then place the brush above the brackets and using the same motion work the bristles downwards (see product guide).
- Interdental brush: The small head on this type of brush is ideal to reach between the brackets (see product guide).
- Floss threader: It is very important to floss between the teeth and this can only be achieved by a floss threader.
- Oral irrigation: These devices are useful in dislodging food particles but should be used in conjunction with the above products.
- Diet: Avoid sticky foods and sugary carbonated soft drinks.
Home care will take a little longer than usual, however, the benefits of a beautiful smile will far outweigh the extra time for oral care.