Can Braces Give You a Stunning Smile? Only if You Do This

Can Braces Give You a Stunning Smile? Only if You Do This

Did you know your orthodontist won’t start treatment if you’re not keeping your teeth clean at home?

We sometimes have to tell patients to step up their home care and come back in a month.

Our expert orthodontists can transform your appearance and your oral health. When you can smile with confidence, you’ll feel more comfortable in social and professional situations. Many of our patients experience a newfound inner radiance and self-assurance.

While Invisalign is certainly popular, many patients still choose custom-made LightForce braces or self-ligating braces.

With all the extra hardware in your mouth, there are plenty of opportunities for plaque bacteria to creep in.

Proper oral hygiene is important for everyone, but especially important with braces. We’ll show you exactly what to do at home to make sure you get the best results.

Why keeping your teeth clean is non-negotiable:

Cavities: Braces create hundreds of tiny nooks and crannies where food particles and plaque can get trapped. If left unattended, these hidden havens become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that cause cavities. Proper brushing and flossing removes these particles. A round, oscillating electric toothbrush is more effective than a manual one.

Gingivitis: An estimated 50% of Canadians have gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. Braces make it harder to clean thoroughly at the gumline and between the teeth– exactly where bacteria love to settle. Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? This is usually the first sign of gingivitis. The good news is, it’s reversible with a consistent home care routine.

White Spots: Neglecting oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment can lead to unattractive white spots on your teeth. These spots indicate the beginning of tooth decay. Imagine seeing that on the day your braces come off.

Prolonged Treatment Time: If you get cavities while your braces are on, you may have to schedule an extra visit to your orthodontist to remove brackets and/or wires, so the dentist can do the filling properly. Then you see the dentist to have the filling done, and then it’s back to the orthodontist to have the wires and brackets put back on. Not only is this a huge inconvenience, it can slow down the progress of your treatment. You can avoid this by taking just 5-10 minutes a day to brush and floss properly.

Periodontal Infection: Gingivitis, left untreated, can lead to periodontal disease, the #1 cause of tooth loss. When your immune system is constantly forced to wage war on bacteria under the gums and between the teeth, it will eventually attack the bone that holds your teeth in place. This doesn’t cause pain, so most people don’t realize it is happening– until their teeth become loose. Unlike cavities, which are easily fixed, this is difficult to treat.

Here’s how to make sure none of this happens to you.

Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. We’ll show you how to do it with your braces. Every surface needs attention! Don’t just brush on autopilot; pay attention to what you’re doing. An electric toothbrush is best. If you prefer a manual toothbrush, 3 minutes of brushing, twice a day, is recommended. (2 minutes is sufficient for people without braces.) 

For in between the teeth, you have a few options.

Floss Threader or Superfloss: This simple tool allows you to thread floss beneath wires and between brackets, reaching areas that regular floss might miss. It’s a great way to dislodge trapped food particles and plaque.

Platypus Flossers: Designed specifically for braces, Platypus flossers feature a unique spatula-like end that slips under wires, making flossing a breeze. 

Water Flosser: A pressure washer for your teeth! A water flosser shoots a stream of water at your teeth, washing away debris and plaque. It’s a gentle option for those with sensitive gums, and can be especially useful for people who struggle with traditional flossing. Many water flossers have a special tip designed just for patients with braces.  Bring your water flosser to your next ortho appointment so we can show you exactly how and where to hold it, and how it works.

Use a fluoride mouthwash for one minute every night. Do this after you brush and floss/water floss.

Do we have a deal?

Your investment in orthodontics is not just monetary– it’s an investment in your confidence and well-being. Don’t compromise your smile by neglecting proper oral hygiene. Make brushing and flossing a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. It will get easier as you get the hang of it, and soon you’ll be doing it automatically. We want to give you a beautiful smile- and we can only do it with your help!

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