One of the most important aspects of wearing braces, whether fixed or removable, is the hygiene of our 'braces' to ensure that food debris does not irritate the gums causing gingivitis or bleeding and decay in the teeth of patients undergoing this type of treatment.
In this regard, it is important to know what kind of products to use in order to remove food debris and ensure that orthodontic treatment can be carried out as quickly, effectively and accurately as possible, helping the patient's dental health. orthodontist to ensure that we receive treatment that is appropriate to our needs.
How long should I brush my teeth if I have braces?
One of the most important aspects is that the time during which the patient cleans his or her mouth should be extended, as the number of items around the teeth and gums is much greater than usual.
That is why, if we normally talk about two minutes of brushing time, in the case of a patient with orthodontics, he or she should dedicate 4 or 5 minutes after each meal, to avoid food remains in our smile, which in addition to being unaesthetic can give off odours when fermenting after a while in areas that are difficult to access.
Which toothbrush should I use if I have braces?
A patient wearing orthodontics is in a very different situation from the rest of his or her life:
- There are hard-to-reach areas that accumulate food debris.
- The spaces to be cleaned are smaller than usual.
- Orthodontic elements can fall out due to excessive pressure
Scientific evidence supports that the best toothbrushes, for patients with and without orthodontics, are rechargeable electric toothbrushes with rotational oscillating technology.
Therefore, one of the first steps after getting braces is to buy an electric toothbrush with a specific orthodontic brush head, which adapts to the shape of the brackets and the 'wires' or arches in the best possible way, something that is difficult to do with a manual toothbrush head.
In addition, it is necessary that the brush incorporates a pressure sensor, so that we can make sure that we do not use more force than necessary, something that often happens when using manual brushes, which can cause brackets or tubes to fall out of the appliance.
What is the most suitable toothpaste for an orthodontic patient?
Orthodontic patients may suffer from various dental pathologies during the course of their treatment, such as:
- Halitosis, or bad mouth odour due to the presence of food debris.
- Gingivitis, due to plaque under the brackets and gums irritating the gums.
- Sensitivity, due to exposure of previously covered areas of the tooth
- Tartar and stains, due to the difficulty of cleaning under orthodontic appliances.
It is therefore advisable to use a toothpaste that addresses all these problems, and that in addition to fluoride salts, as most toothpastes contain, has a bacteriostatic agent, such as tin.
Therefore, to control all these pathologies it is advisable to use a toothpaste such as Oral-B Pro-Expert, the only one available in Spain with stabilised stannous fluoride, which helps us to fight against the most frequent problems in a patient of this type.
Should I use an irrigator to clean under my orthodontic archwire?
Yes, it is convenient to have a dental irrigator, which can be purchased in combination with an electric toothbrush in a 'dental centre', so that it will help us to better control our hygiene:
- Removing food leftovers from confined areas
- Controlling the bacteria around the food by supplying a jet of oxygen (patented technology of Oxyjet irrigators, the best performers on the market).
- Applying chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride mouthwashes, as indicated by the orthodontist in cases of poor plaque control, on a temporary basis.
In conclusion, we can say that the orthodontic patient will have to make three new 'friends' on the day he/she is fitted with braces:
- An oscillating-rotating electric toothbrush with pressure sensor, to remove more plaque and ensure that no items fall out of the appliance due to excessive force.
- A stannous fluoride toothpaste with bacteriostatic capacity complementing the functions of isolated fluoride
- A dental irrigator to help us reach hard-to-reach areas and reduce the effect of bacteria build-up around the 'appliance'.