When you undergo any orthodontic procedure, your treatment doesn’t stop when you leave the office. If anything, it’s just the beginning.
At Moon Orthodontics, we want you to be well-informed from the get-go. Let’s talk about exactly how to maintain good oral health with orthodontic treatment—and what can go wrong when you don’t.
Before getting into how you take care of your appliances, and potential consequences of not doing so, we should go over what we offer for treatment with Dr. Moon!
- Metal braces are usually the first option for kids, but are equally reliable for adult patients.
- Clear braces (aka ceramic braces) serve the same purpose as metal braces, but the brackets match the color of your teeth using a polycrystalline ceramic material.
- Moon Orthodontics proudly offers Invisalign, which is a removable appliance, usually for adults and teenagers. This is the most natural option for straightening your teeth. New sets are worn each week to guide your teeth into their new positions.
- Retainers are usually the final step in this manner of orthodontic treatment, used to keep your new smile the same.
The Best Way To Do Braces
We’ll start with the good part! Let’s go over all the ways you can properly exercise oral hygiene with any appliance.
- Attend All Appointments: All being the operative word here. Once you’ve gotten a fixed or removable appliance, you can expect to visit us for check-ups, to assess progress and make any needed adjustments to traditional braces. We can also be proactive if we find anything is going wrong.
- General Oral Hygiene: Brushing and flossing are always the most important steps! You should try your very best to do this after every meal and before you go to bed. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. For braces, always clean around brackets and wires to remove food and plaque.
- Flossing: Flossing can be tedious when you have braces fixed in place, but you really, really need to stay on top of it! Special floss exists for braces, as well as orthodontic floss threaders.
- Interdental Brush: This is a special, tiny brush that can get in the nooks and crannies of the components of your braces.
- Mouthwash: Antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash can help control bacteria and keep your teeth strong.
- A Smart Diet: Foods that are hard, sticky, or chewy can damage your braces, and an excess of sugar can cause cavities. Some foods that are friendlier to braces are yogurt, soups, and steamed vegetables.
- Hydration: Drinking plenty of water is good for you in a number of ways, but orally speaking, it helps to flush your mouth of food particles.
- Protect Your Appliance: Playing sports or grinding your teeth can pose a threat to your braces; wearing a mouthguard can help prevent damage from happening. If you have clear aligners, be sure to keep up with them!
- Dental Cleanings: You should still attend cleanings with your general dentist. They will help us during treatment by monitoring for any problems and looking for cavities.
- Emergency Measures: When a bracket or wire breaks, or any other emergency takes place, it’s essential to contact one of our offices promptly to get a repair scheduled. When you delay repairs, your treatment’s progress can be stunted, or cause complications.
The key to this whole process is consistency. Remember that you are majorly responsible for how your treatment turns out, regardless of your age!
A Fair Warning
It’s important that you have a good idea of the negative effects that can occur when you neglect your oral health! It’s not fun to hear about, but it awareness is a good tool!
- Cavities and Gum Disease: With or without braces, you can be at risk of these common conditions. But when you have an appliance, it allows for even more opportunities for bacteria to cause decay. Gingivitis can also manifest due to inadequate care and gum irritation from your device.
- White Spots and Stains: Irregular cleaning can leave obvious evidence once your braces are removed. It’s never the goal to have straight teeth, but be unhappy with other aspects of their appearance!
- Weakened Teeth: If issues like cavities are not addressed, they can weaken your teeth over time, potentially leading to structural damage that requires even more work to be done.
- Prolonged Treatment Time: Dental problems that develop during orthodontic treatment can extend the overall duration of an already long process, not to mention increased cost.
A Worthwhile Wait
We understand it can be difficult to stay on track, but we’re here to help! And when you’re the parent of a young patient, you must be especially vigilant in keeping your kiddo accountable. But the outcome is always worth it in the end! If you have further questions about oral health or are considering orthodontic treatment, feel free to reach us in Overland Park or Olathe, at (913) 914-9261.
We’re also pleased to offer virtual smile assessments for potential patients!