How to Maintain Good Oral Health With Orthodontic Treatment

At Rio Grande Orthodontics, we understand taking care of your oral health can feel intimidating sometimes, especially when you have an appliance to worry about taking care of as well. Our orthodontic team, Dr. Gardiner, Dr. Vest, Dr. Klingler, and Dr. Kellam, is dedicated to helping you maintain your smile results for years to come. Our team has compiled a list of achievable tasks for maintaining good oral health during orthodontic treatment so you can complete your treatment in perfect condition.


Why Brushing Your Teeth Matters

One of the foundational steps toward keeping your teeth clean, twice daily brushing protects your teeth from common oral diseases and ensures your gums stay healthy. It is a simple, attainable step that can help you prevent complicated diagnoses later in life. When wearing an orthodontic appliance, you must clean not only your teeth but each part of your appliance as well. 

Choosing Proper Equipment

When selecting the best toothbrush and paste, Rio Grande Orthodontics recommends a soft-bristled brush. The gentle bristles will effectively clean your teeth without damaging your appliance or, potentially, your enamel over time. Braces can be particularly rough on your toothbrush, so be sure to replace it once you notice the bristles are showing signs of wear.

Your toothpaste of choice should include fluoride, a mineral contained in many options that work to avoid tooth decay and strengthen your tooth enamel. This combination of specific brush and paste helps to maximize the benefits you take from cleaning your teeth.

How To Brush

All you need to do is grab your soft-bristled toothbrush and place it at a 45-degree angle at your gumline. Move your brush in a circular motion and cover each tooth’s surface, totaling about five minutes. Following these steps allows both your teeth and your appliance to continue functioning as needed.

Cleaning off sugary residue will help reduce acid buildup and protect your teeth from breaking down. Putting in this extra time and effort to brush and floss allows your braces to function flawlessly, sometimes even speeding up treatment time. 


Flossing Prevents Bacteria Buildup

Flossing during treatment is essential to keeping your teeth in excellent condition and protected from emergencies. You’ll want to dislodge any small piece of food left behind to ensure nothing decays over time. If your appliance utilizes wires, our office provides special threaders so you can clean even the hard-to-reach areas without strain. 

All you need to do is attach your string of floss to it, thread it through the bottom area of your teeth below the wire, and wiggle it around to get rid of food pieces. Do so between each tooth until you have reached them all.


How to Maintain Good Oral Health With Orthodontic Treatment

Emergency Preparedness

To best care for your health, you must understand the steps you can take during emergencies. In the rare case of something like a broken wire or missing wire, there are many at-home temporary steps you can take, such as applying orthodontic wax or using pain relievers to hold you over until you can come in for an examination. 

Our orthodontists will cover how to care for these common emergencies and others with you at the beginning of treatment. Call our office as soon as you are able when experiencing an emergency or if you are unsure if something is an emergency so our expert team can come to the rescue and get you back on track. 

The earlier we are able to diagnose an issue, the earlier our team will be able to help you with a more straightforward treatment.


Be Aware Of Your Eating Choices 

When protecting your appliance, being conscious of your eating choices can go a long way in preserving its strength. As your teeth begin to straighten out more, food will have fewer places to hide after meals and thus, your chances of cavities and tooth decay decrease. Until then, our team will point out specific areas of your teeth to make a point to clean so you can dislodge any leftover food particles. 

Friendly Foods

There are plenty of foods you can still enjoy throughout treatment, including pasta, soft veggies, oranges, mashed potatoes, and seafood. Essentially, anything that is soft, well-cooked, and easy to chew is still on the menu! You can use this time to find new foods to enjoy and even find a new item you typically would pass up!

Unfriendly Foods

As tempting as it is to continue eating as usual after your appliance is on your teeth, it will not be able to stand up to the same pressures of chewing and all the foods you enjoy. Anything crunchy, hard, or sticky must stay behind in your cabinets while you straighten your smile. Foods such as popcorn, gum, corn, pretzels, and the like are best avoided. 


Why Your Oral Health Matters

Orthodontic appliances help build a foundation for your teeth for many years and help you establish the smile you deserve. Upkeeping your oral health throughout your life allows you to enjoy your original teeth’s functionality and strength without complicated procedures. By following these recommendations, the benefits that come from treatment last a lifetime. Preserving your alignment and the confidence that comes with it can do wonders!


How to Maintain Good Oral Health With Orthodontic Treatment

Stay On Track To Your Perfect Smile!

While oral hygiene takes longer to maintain with orthodontic appliances to keep in mind, the work you and your teeth are doing to get you a fantastic smile is worth the extra time! Rio Grande Orthodontics proudly serves Albuquerque, Edgewood, Espanola, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos, Socorro, and the surrounding areas with fantastic orthodontic care. We do whatever we can to make your time with us a comfortable and stress-free experience. Call any of our offices today so we can set up your free consultation!