Your oral health is essential to a successful orthodontic treatment. If your oral health decreases, you risk your smile’s physical and aesthetic condition. Besides issues like tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease, moving your teeth when they’re unhealthy can have undesired consequences.
Though navigating your oral health as an orthodontic patient can be confusing, Dr. Jared Lee can minimize the learning curve. The following are some of his top tips for oral health during treatment.
Invest In Good Oral Hygiene Tools
Using the right tools when you perform your oral hygiene routine is critical to achieving the best results and having the healthiest teeth and gums possible. We suggest investing in the following:
- An Automatic Toothbrush — You should get an automatic toothbrush with a timer and pressure sensor. These features keep you from over brushing or under brushing. Over Brushing can strip your enamel and push down your gum line. Underbrushing can leave behind bacteria and plaque that can eat away at enamel and leave your teeth vulnerable to decay, sensitivity, and gum disease, among other things.
- Waterflossers — These devices sit on your countertop and use water to rid the mouth of stubborn bacteria, plaque, and food. The water is able to get into all the hard-to-reach places caused by overcrowding, jaw joint issues, and fixed orthodontic appliances. They are a great addition to your flossing routine.
- Interproximal Brushes — These are small portable brushes that are small enough to fit between the teeth and between the brackets. They are perfect for your daily morning and night routine, but they are also wonderful pick-me-ups throughout the day for a refresher after meals.
Maintaining oral health with good tools keeps your breath fresh and your teeth and gums free of harmful substances.
Invest In Good Oral Hygiene Products
Picking the right cleaning products are just as crucial as your tools. For the best results, discuss your oral health needs and goals with Dr. Lee or your trusted dentist. However, we do recommend you check your toothpaste and mouthwash for the following:
- Harsh chemicals. — You want your products to have effective chemicals to clean and disinfect your teeth, but you don’t want them too strong or harsh because they can harm your teeth and gums! They can also harm your orthodontic appliances!
- Fluoride. — This element is nature-made and already in your bones (including your teeth!). Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth’s enamel and can even help reduce the effects of tooth decay!
- Whitening Agents. — You don’t want your toothpaste or mouthwash to have whitening agents in it at all! We know you want beautiful pearly whites, and we would be happy to help you achieve them once treatment is over! If you wear bonded appliances, the whitening agents can only touch certain parts of your teeth, leaving the other sections untouched. When your orthodontic equipment is removed, your teeth will be multiple different colors, and we are sure that is not the look you are going for. While it can be fixed, unfortunately, it can be frustrating and time-consuming.
No matter your treatment route for your teeth and bite alignment, you should consult Dr. Lee before trying a new product in order to protect your teeth and orthodontic equipment.
Attend Your Dental Appointments
Another way to upkeep your oral health is to attend your dental appointments. While Dr. Lee did go to dental school before continuing his training in orthodontics, Dr. Lee should not be the only oral healthcare professional in your life.
When you visit Dr. Lee, he will check your alignment, the general health of your teeth, and your orthodontic appliances. At your dental appointment, a dental hygienist will X-ray, photograph, apply fluoride to, and professionally clean your teeth. After, your dentist will examine the images and your mouth for signs of concern. They will set up a treatment plan, administer care, or refer you to a specialist if necessary.
How often you should go to a dental cleaning depends on your needs and goals, but most people should go twice a year, every six months. Go as often as your dentist recommends to keep your teeth and gums pretty and healthy.
Clean Your Clear Aligners.
Your clear aligners are only worn for one to two weeks before you advance to the next in the set, but even still, you need to clean them daily. They can accumulate the same bacteria and plaque as your teeth, and they can be transferred between the trays and your teeth!
Cleaning them only takes a few minutes a day, and it makes a world of difference to the smell and taste of the trays and your oral health!
Dr. Jared Lee Can Help You Maintain Your Oral Health!
Before, during, and after active treatment (when orthodontic appliances are actively adjusting your teeth), your oral health is of top priority for the best cosmetic and practical results. Luckily, Dr. Lee can help you create the best routine to fit your needs, goals, and lifestyle.
Our team looks forward to helping you and your family achieve the smiles of your dreams!