Oral Hygiene in Atlanta, GA
When undergoing orthodontic treatment at Patel & Womble Orthodontics, it’s important to protect your investment by taking care of your teeth and keeping them clean. Board-certified orthodontists Dr. Ruchir R. Patel and Dr. Brian A. Womble can show you how to incorporate a good oral hygiene routine that keeps your smile healthy and prevents “white spots” after your braces are removed. Feel free to contact our McDonough or Norcross offices near Atlanta at any time if you have questions about how to keep your teeth and braces clean.
A dedicated oral hygiene plan consisting of daily brushing and flossing helps prevent problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and demineralization around your orthodontic appliances. When braces or other types of appliances are bonded to your teeth, it can create hard-to-reach areas that harbor bacteria or food between meals. Without the right tools or information, it may be difficult to clean these areas. Fortunately, with a bit of patience and the right oral hygiene aids, you can keep your smile healthy throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment.
Always brush after every meal or snack to keep your teeth free of cavity-causing plaque. If you aren’t wearing removable aligners, such as Invisalign®, you will need to modify your brushing patterns. Start by brushing between your brackets and the gum lines, making small circular motions across your entire mouth. Then, repeat the process on the other side of your brackets. Brush the chewing surfaces and inside of your teeth as you would normally, patiently focusing on just one or two teeth at a time.
If you have an end-tufted brush or “Proxabrush®”, use it to brush the areas between each bracket several times, removing plaque against the sides of brackets that may not be accessible with a larger, bulkier toothbrush.
Investing in an electric toothbrush can improve your plaque removal techniques. Be sure not to neglect your tongue or the roof of your mouth, gently brushing them from the back to the front.
A good rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush every three months, or more often if you notice the bristles beginning to spread out. An antibacterial mouthwash can help inhibit any additional bacterial growth to provide an extra step in protecting the health of your teeth.
Brushing your teeth is an important part of your daily hygiene routine, but there are some areas of your mouth that a toothbrush just can’t reach. To thoroughly remove plaque biofilm around your orthodontic appliances, it’s important to floss at least once each day.
To properly floss your teeth, use a piece of floss that is at least 18 inches long. If you’re wearing metal braces, ceramic braces, or lingual braces, a floss threader is needed to access areas under the archwire. Gently guide the end of your floss between your braces and wires, rubbing it up and down against the side of each tooth and just under the gum line. Continue flossing daily to keep the gums healthy and prevent cavities from developing between your teeth.
You may want to consider investing in a “water flosser” if you find manual flossing especially challenging around your braces or appliances. Most water flossers have additional attachments available that are useful for cleaning around braces.
If you have gingivitis, it’s not uncommon to notice a bit of bleeding when you floss. If bleeding doesn’t subside within a week or two, be sure to contact board-certified orthodontists Dr. Ruchir R. Patel or Dr. Brian A. Womble at either of our McDonough or Norcross, GA locations near Atlanta. Patel & Womble Orthodontics is conveniently open six days a week, with Saturday appointments available. Be sure to ask about our dental financing plans through CareCredit®.