It is imperative that you maintain excellent dental hygiene throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment. At Unionville Orthodontics, our clinicians will show you how to brush and floss around brackets and arch wires. We will also give you tips on how to keep your teeth and gums clean too. Brush your teeth, gums, brackets and appliances after every meal and especially before going to bed.
Plaque (a sticky substance that builds up on teeth and uses sugar in food to produce acids which attack the enamel) must be removed completely every day. Plaque can easily accumulate around brackets, on smooth tooth surfaces and in between teeth. If left in place, plaque can result in the decalcification of enamel – white spots on teeth that may be permanent – or decay which will require restoration.
Maintain a healthy diet for the duration of your orthodontic treatment (and hopefully, beyond!) Eat a balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy or suitable substitutes and drink plenty of water. Ensuring you are getting adequate nutrients will translate into healthy teeth, bones and gums for life!
If you are wearing braces on your teeth, there are a few guidelines to help make your treatment progress successfully and efficiently. Avoid biting into any hard foods including carrot sticks, crusty bread, and pizza crust.
Foods to avoid while in braces:
- hard sticky candy
- soft drinks with sugar
Following the diet guidelines suggested will allow your treatment to progress on time.
If you are wearing Invisalign, remove your aligners before meals. Be sure to replace your aligners after brushing and flossing.
Habits such as nail biting, pencil chewing, and crunching ice cubes or other hard materials are detrimental to orthodontic treatment. These habits are risky as they break braces, distort wires and in general, delay treatment progress.
Typically, orthodontic treatment is a reasonably comfortable experience. However, initially you may experience some discomfort, when force is exerted on your teeth, when arch wires are changed or when elastics are first introduced. If necessary, an analgesic (pain reliever) can be taken to relieve discomfort. Eating soft foods during these sore periods will help ease the discomfort.
Occasionally, wires or brackets can cause irritation of the soft tissue. Place a piece of wax over the offending irritant and call the office to be seen as soon as possible.
Elastics may be used to enhance tooth movement of all teeth. If needed, you will be instructed on how to replace them on a daily basis to maintain adequate elastic tension and consistent tooth movement. Elastics are easy to use and are a very important part of treatment.