Our goal at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is to maintain a happy and healthy smile throughout your orthodontic treatment, and this relies heavily on your dedication to proper oral hygiene. We provide patients with the education needed, but you’ll have to be committed to doing the work in between visits to get the desired results. To achieve and maintain the highest oral hygiene health standards, we believe in educating you with the principles, tools, techniques, and proper regular maintenance to help keep your oral health at its best shape. Your at-home oral hygiene along with our efforts at our Lakewood office, can help avoid the damaging effects of gum disease, cavities, enamel wear, etc.
Use only soft-bristled toothbrushes with fluoride toothpaste. When brushing your teeth, move the toothbrush in small, circular motion and angle the toothbrush when it reaches the gum line. This technique will help to remove food particles in hard-to-reach areas of your teeth, particularly if you have braces. Do not forget to brush the chewing surfaces, at the back of the teeth, and clean your tongue. Healthy gums will not bleed on soft-bristled toothbrushes. If there is bleeding and it is inflamed, it means that that area should be brushed thoroughly and more often. Don’t forget to massage your gums while you are brushing your teeth. If you are wearing braces, keep in mind that there are more areas to clean; therefore, you should plan on spending a couple of minutes brushing your teeth. You should consider using a proxy toothbrush as it is able to get rid of food particles under the brackets and wires.
Flossing is another essential aspect in oral hygiene, and it shouldn’t be ignored especially if you have braces. Patients should allocate 10 to 15 minutes of their time each evening to thoroughly floss. Don’t worry as the more you floss, the more you’ll learn proper techniques; thus, reducing the amount of time needed to completely clean your braces. We recommend that you use a floss threader to make it easier to clean under the wire of your braces. Most patients will find it easier to start from the gums then angle it towards the tip of the teeth. When the floss is threaded under the wire, wrap the floss around the fingers and floss between the teeth. Make sure to floss on the entire length of the teeth and in between your teeth and gums.
Additional Oral Hygiene Accessories
For patients who want to floss or brush their teeth thoroughly, additional oral hygiene accessories may be required. If you have braces, proxy brushes and toothpicks are useful to maintain your teeth as healthy as possible. Also, consider an antibacterial mouthwash or fluoride mouth rinse. A Waterpik® can also assist in helping to remove food debris, and it also massages the gums.
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