Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with diagnosing, preventing, and treating malocclusions or improper bites. Orthodontists use braces, aligners, and other orthodontic appliances to align teeth, jaws, and facial bones.
Proper oral hygiene is essential to maintain good oral health during orthodontic treatment. Neglecting oral hygiene can lead to various dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. But why is oral hygiene important in orthodontics?
1. Reduces Plaque Buildup
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums. It can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. When braces or other orthodontic appliances are placed in the mouth, they create more places for plaque to accumulate.
If plaque is not removed regularly, it can lead to white spots on teeth, gum inflammation, and even cavities. Proper brushing and flossing techniques can help reduce plaque buildup and prevent these problems from occurring.
2. Ensures Healthy Teeth and Gums
Proper oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment can help ensure healthy teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing teeth regularly can remove food particles and plaque that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. As a result, they do not get stuck between the teeth and gums, eventually ruining the teeth’s structure.
Flossing around braces and other orthodontic appliances can be challenging, but specialized tools like floss threaders, interdental brushes, and water flossers can make the process easier. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can also help detect and prevent dental problems before they become more serious.
3. Prevents Sores From Developing
Orthodontic appliances can sometimes cause sores or ulcers on the cheeks, lips, or tongue. These sores can be painful, making eating, talking, or brushing your teeth difficult. Maintaining proper oral hygiene can help prevent these sores from developing.
Orthodontic wax, rinsing with salt water, and topical analgesics can help soothe and heal sores. If sores persist, orthodontists can adjust or replace appliances to reduce irritation. Meanwhile, it also helps to ask for topical medications to ease sores.
4. Eliminates the Appearance of Cavities
Cavities are holes in teeth caused by tooth decay. They can be unsightly and compromise the structural integrity of teeth. Maintaining proper oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment can help eliminate the appearance of cavities.
Brushing and flossing teeth regularly can remove plaque and prevent decay from forming. Orthodontists can also provide fluoride treatments or sealants to help protect teeth from decay. Cavities should not exist during treatment as they alter the results.
5. Secures Better Results
Maintaining proper oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment can also help secure better results. When teeth and gums are healthy, orthodontic appliances can work more effectively and efficiently. Improper oral hygiene can lead to delayed treatment times, poor results, and even the need for additional treatment. By following proper brushing, flossing, and dental care techniques, patients can help ensure that their orthodontic treatment is successful and long-lasting.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential during orthodontic treatment. It can help reduce plaque buildup, ensure healthy teeth and gums, prevent sores from developing, eliminate the appearance of cavities, and secure better results.
Patients should brush and floss their teeth regularly, use specialized tools to clean around orthodontic appliances, and attend regular dental checkups and cleanings. By following these guidelines, patients can help ensure that their orthodontic treatment is successful and that their smile has been healthy and beautiful for years.
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