Orthodontic Oral Hygiene Instructions
The Do’s and Don’ts of Orthodontic treatment
- In the first few days after having your braces put on, you may find it difficult to bite into food and to chew foods. During this time you will need to eat soft foods such as soups, mashed veggies, and pasta. After the initial few days, you can go back to eating a ‘normal diet’ avoiding the types of foods listed below(in the Do Not section)
- Follow your oral hygiene routine daily (as shown by our clinical coordinators) If food is left trapped in and around brackets and bands, it can begin to decay the teeth and leave permanent white or brown marks on the teeth.
- Drink plenty of water- this is the best thing to keep your teeth healthy and limit demineralisation (softening of the hard Enamel coating on the teeth.)
- Call the surgery if you notice a loose bracket or band, you will not be required to come in prior to your next scheduled appointment, but it will allow us to provide enough time to place it back on at your next appointment.
- Keep every appointment and come on time. When you miss appointments you are delaying treatment and putting off the day when your braces will come off.
- Always bring your headgear and retainers to every appointment if they have been prescribed for you, including non-orthodontic related appointments.
- Have regular check-ups and gum maintenance visits with your dentist and hygienist every 6 months.
- Chew on pens, pencils, ice, fingernails or pick at the wires these things can damage the wires and cause brackets to come off.
- Eat sticky lollies- such as fantails, redskins, minties, toffee apples, liquorice or chewing gum (even sugar-free): eating these foods will cause brackets to come off and molar bands to break which will delay treatment time.
- Eat hard foods- such as nuts, popcorn, hard lollies, pizza crusts, pretzels, corn chips ….Raw vegetables and hard fruits such as carrots, celery, corn on the cob, apples and pears should be cooked or cut into small pieces, biting into these things will break brackets off.
- Consume foods and drinks high in acid and sugar – such as soft drinks and fruit juices. Things like this can cause the surface of the tooth to be weakened and can cause “white” marks on the teeth (which cannot be removed) or even decay. If these are being consumed, it should be limited to special occasions and consumed in a short period of time. Immediately rinsing your mouth with water will “neutralise” the acid which can also reduce the effects.
Interdental Brushing “piksters”
Morning / Night routines: before brushing
Interdental brushing should be a part of both your morning and night routine.
- First bend the interdental brush so that it’s on a 45-degree angle and start, for example, on the upper right. Position the brush under the archwire and in between the brackets, making sure that you do not force the brush into the area.
- Gently clean around the bracket, spending at least 10 seconds in each area then moving on the next area.
- Continue this until all brackets and molar bands have been cleaned; both upper and lower…
- Always have one with you to help with cleaning after eating; either in your pocket or purse.
- Start by taking a piece of super floss out of the packet and finding the hardened end of the floss.
- Place the floss between the teeth under the archwire. Feed it through until you have some floss to work with and wrap the floss around your fingers. Make sure your fingers are close together.
- Using a sea soaring action to get the floss down between your teeth, position the floss so it is cupping the tooth then slide the floss very gently down the side of the tooth.
- Take the floss ever so slightly down under the gum then back up.
- Repeat the above steps on all teeth, once finished in area, slide the floss through, move on to the next area and continue until all teeth, both upper and lower are flossed and free from plaque.
Both Morning / Night routine
- The toothbrush should be at 45-degree angle, place against the gum and gently brush along the gum line where the tooth and gum meets.
- Using small circular motions spend at least 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next one.
- Brush both Upper and lower inside and outside surfaces of your teeth.
- Gently brush your braces (Brackets) pressing the toothbrush firmly and gently enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wires and the tooth.
- For the chewing surface use a firm back and forth motion.
While you have your braces on the ability to clean your teeth perfectly is difficult therefore, we recommend using a high fluoride mouth rinse at night for 30 sec as directed.
- Never run out of oral hygiene products.
- Poor oral hygiene can cause staining and even decay on teeth, it can also cause gum infections.
- Each time a bracket or band becomes loose or falls off it has the possibility of delaying treatment and the day your braces are removed.
- All products can be purchased at chemists and some supermarkets.
Wax can be placed on to the brackets that are catching, or wires that are digging into cheeks to get out of discomfort until you can come into the surgery.
How to apply wax
- Wash your hands, take a small piece of wax and warm it with your fingertips.
- Dry the area as best as possible and apply wax to affected areas.
- The wax can dislodge while eating and/or drinking. If this occurs just place a fresh piece.
- If you run out just call the surgery and we can post some out to you, or you can call in and pick some up.
- Salt water mouth rinses are a great way to heal the mouth quickly.