One of the most common treatments in all of Children's Dentistry is Orthodontic Tooth Alignment. Undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign requires that your teenager raise the bar with their home care efforts. We're talking more cleaning time and a whole new tool belt of cleaning instruments! So, what are the risks of not performing proper oral home care during orthodontic treatment? And, what are some simple things that you can do to minimize post-treatment complications?
Let's dive into this!
Really, this section is about the risk of not cleaning your teeth well during orthodontic treatment. Braces and Invisalign involve use of metal brackets and tooth-colored buttons, respectively. Both are bonded to your teeth during treatment and, let's face it, both are obstacles to cleaning your teeth. A smooth surface is certainly easier to clean than a bumpy one containing a bunch of nooks and crannies. Well, if you don't take the extra time to properly brush and floss during treatment, here's what can happen:
As mentioned above, you need an upgraded collection of tools to properly clean your teeth during orthodontic treatment. Toothbrushes and floss still provide the foundation. However, you'll now need floss threaders to weave the floss under your metal arch wire. Proxabrushes or "christmas tree brushes" (see photo atop this article for a reference) will also be useful for angling in between metal brackets. Many parents tell us that their teenager loves the electric toothbrush for cleaning around brace brackets as well. Here are some brief tips about cleaning time and technique that I hope you'll find useful:
Orthodontic treatment has become so commonplace that it is almost a rite of passage for teenagers (like having wisdom teeth removed). A successful treatment outcome involves not only straight teeth but also teeth that are healthy and esthetic looking. To achieve this, the level of diligence during cleaning must go way up. With this, comes increased cleaning time.
If your teenager has the right tools, they can efficiently clean their teeth easily and without frustration. In some cases, slightly more frequent dental cleanings (i.e. every 3-4 months during Orthodontic treatment) can help to keep teeth and gums healthy. Ask your Family Dentist to sit down with your teen to discuss what needs to be done to keep teeth healthy during treatment with Braces or Invisalign. Your teenager's increased effort and vigilance will go a long way to ensuring a successful treatment outcome.
I hope that you have found this article useful & thank you for reading!
If you would like to meet to discuss braces or Invisalign in Kitchener, please call us at (519) 576-8160 or request a consult appointment with me here.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Kitchener Dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a dental condition or treatment.