Before and during treatment, you’ve likely dreamed of what your smile will look like when treatment is over — nice, beautifully aligned pearly whites that are pain-free and easy to clean.
But did you know that you must maintain oral health during treatment to obtain the aesthetic smile of your dreams? Luckily, upkeeping your oral health during orthodontic care doesn’t require a drastic change in your routine or lifestyle.
Here are some of Designer Smiles By Benton’s top tips for oral health during orthodontic treatment.
Don’t Forget About Your Dentist!
Even though orthodontists attend dental school, we don’t recommend relying solely on Dr. John Benton or Dr. Barry Benton for your oral health needs.
You should still see your dentist regularly — as often as your dentist recommends — throughout orthodontic treatment. At these appointments, a hygienist will photograph, X-ray, and professionally clean your teeth. When your hygienist is complete, your dentist will come in and thoroughly examine your mouth to look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, infection, oral cancer, and other health concerns.
It is crucial to go to these dental sessions even if you feel like everything is fine because many problems can lurk under the surface. It also allows you and your dental team to find and treat issues before they can cause lasting or permanent damage to your smile!
Invest In Good Tools!
You should perform your oral hygiene routine twice a day, and you can upgrade your routine by investing in quality oral hygiene tools.
You want an electric toothbrush with an automatic timer and pressure sensor to keep you from over- or under-brushing. Over Brushing can strip the enamel of your teeth and push down your gum line, two things you don’t want! Underbrushing leaves behind bacteria and plaque that can damage your teeth. The timer helps you brush just long enough and with just enough pressure!
We also recommend investing in a water flosser if you haven’t already! Water flossers are machines that use streams of water to rid the mouth of unwanted debris. The water can clean even the most hard-to-reach places caused by overcrowding or bonded appliances, such as braces. It also helps remove food from the teeth that could stain your aligners.
Another flossing tool to add to your routine is an interproximal brush! These brushes are small enough to fit between the teeth and between the brackets of your braces. They are great for use at home and on the go when you might not be able to use a water flosser or if you just need a quick refresher after lunch.
Lastly, we suggest asking Dr. John Benton or Dr. Barry Benton about orthodontic wax! The wax is a removable substance that prevents mouth sores, open wounds, or other irritation caused by braces or clear aligners rubbing against the inside of our cheek! It is a simple fix that makes orthodontic treatment all the more pleasant and increases your chances of success!
Don’t Buy Just Any Old Product!
The cleaning products you use to perform your routine are as important as your cleaning tools! The right toothpaste and mouthwash can make all the difference. While which specific product is right for you depends on your individual needs, we advise all of our patients to check the ingredients list for harsh chemicals, whitening agents, and fluoride.
- You want to avoid harsh substances because they can damage your teeth and cause rust or discoloration to your bonded and removable orthodontic appliances.
- Fluoride is a beneficial nature-made element already found in your teeth and tap water. The element strengthens the enamel and can help reverse the beginnings of tooth decay, and it is a great ingredient to have in your toothpaste or mouthwash.
- Whitening agents are great, and we aren’t advocating for you to never use them again. However, when you are an orthodontic patient with bonded appliances, the whitening products can only touch certain parts of your teeth. While it might look pretty now, when your appliances are removed, your teeth will be different colors! Unfortunately, making them all one color again isn’t always easy. If you are a patient with removable appliances, ask Dr. John Benton or Dr. Barry Benton before using whitening products to minimize the risk of damaging your equipment.
Please Clean Your Aligners*!
Even though your clear aligners are only worn for one to two weeks before you switch to the next one in a set, you should still clean your aligners daily! The trays can have the same bacteria and plaque as your teeth and gums, and neglecting to clean them can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, infections, and more. Dirty aligners also develop an unpleasant taste and smell, which is not inviting or encouraging when you need to wear them for twenty-two hours a day.
Cleaning them only takes a few minutes and can be done when you perform the rest of your oral hygiene routine.
*If you wear other removable appliances, like a retainer, you must also clean them! Each appliance requires different care instructions, so be sure to get the instructions from one of our team members.
Let Designer Smiles By Benton Give You A One Of A Kind Smile!
You deserve a smile that is unique and flattering to you but is also healthy and functional. Designer Smiles by Benton can help you achieve that!
If you are a new patient and want to learn more about us and our treatment options, click here to schedule a free consultation! If you have any questions at all, whether you are a new, current, or returning patient, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our welcoming and knowledgeable team can help you with anything you need!
We look forward to providing you and your family the exceptional care we’re known for and giving you your one-of-a-kind designer smile by the Benton team.