Photo: Curaden

The importance of maintaining oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment

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Immaculate oral hygiene is a must for orthodontic patients, as inadequate hygiene can quickly lead to negative consequences, such as caries, gingivitis or even periodontal disease.

Orthodontic therapy is chosen by those who have irregularities in the placement of their teeth or in the spatial relationship of the upper and lower jaw, and those who are not satisfied with the aesthetics of their smile. Orthodontic therapy can prevent or alleviate many problems by establishing an appropriate position of the teeth, such as inadequate wear of the teeth, disorders of the jaw joint, as well as problems resulting from the inability to maintain oral hygiene due to inadequate room conditions.

Choosing the right accessories is crucial / Photo: Curaden

Hidden corners - more demanding cleaning

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is even more important for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment than for other people. Even basic problems, such as tight positions, rotations or malpositions of teeth, make it very difficult or even impossible for patients to effectively clean all dental surfaces. Research shows that the use of fixed orthodontic appliances can further impair access to some corners of the oral cavity, while at the same time, the appliance with brackets, wires and elastics acts as a retention site for plaque, which only increases the accumulation of dental plaque. Also, pieces of food get stuck in these places, which further leads to the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay and inflammation of the gums.

A brush with a groove is a must-have tool for cleaning around the brackets of the dental appliance / Photo: Curaden

Aligned or healthy teeth? Both.

Gums that are inflamed due to plaque become red, painful and may bleed when brushed. If gum inflammation is not treated in time, it will progress to periodontal disease, which leads to tooth loss. Maintaining proper oral hygiene therefore, it ensures that orthodontic treatment is carried out effectively and without complications, and at the same time ensures oral health after stopping orthodontic therapy.

What we need for daily oral care

With fixed orthodontic appliances, we are faced with the demanding cleaning of all dental surfaces, as the appliance is firmly attached to the teeth and prevents easy access. It is important to prevent the accumulation of dental plaque around brackets, wires and rubbers. They can help us with this:

  • Custom soft orthodontic toothbrush, which has the central row of bristles shortened, allowing easy access for cleaning directly above the orthodontic appliance. It is also suitable for cleaning the gum area using the modified Bass technique, which effectively removes plaque from the gum area.
  • Brush with one bundle of bristles for hard-to-reach urban ones, where, for example, the teeth are very close together or are rotated.
  • Interdental brushes, with which we can effectively clean the area of the device and easily reach the areas under the wire and around the supports. Of course, interdental brushes are also intended for cleaning interdental spaces, which are impossible to reach with ordinary dental floss, because the wire of the appliance prevents us from passing through the interdental contact.
  • Orthodontic floss, which has a thickened part, with which it is easier to enter the interdental space, since the thread does not twist.
The most effective tool for cleaning interdental spaces. / Photo: Curaden

Recording devices and hard-to-reach places

With removable orthodontic appliances, which also include the currently very popular invisible braces, cleaning is easier, as the appliance is removed from the mouth before brushing the teeth. In this case, we encounter problems caused by orthodontic irregularities, so we must pay extra attention to cleaning. For We use a soft toothbrush to clean our teeth, which effectively removes dental plaque and does not injure the gums. Hard-to-reach places can be reached more easily with a tufted brush, and the interdental spaces can be cleaned with both interdental brushes and dental floss. We must not forget to clean the dental appliances, which are also thoroughly brushed to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Investing in oral health pays off

Although maintaining oral hygiene during orthodontic therapy is challenging, we have enough suitable tools available with which we can clean our teeth accurately. With their use and appropriate brushing techniques, patients can maintain healthy teeth and periodontal tissues, thereby ensuring excellent results of orthodontic therapy and a beautiful, healthy smile as a result.

Author of the article: Valentina Težak, Ph.D. dent. honey

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