Hygiene and brushing
Good oral health is of paramount importance in terms of the success of the orthodontic treatment.
Cooperation is essential at this level.
The toothbrush should become the best friend of any patient who is undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Which should I choose? A soft bristle toothbrush with a small head
How often? Morning, noon, evening and after every meal
How do I brush my teeth?
- Cleaning the teeth between gum and bracket: slightly tilt the bristles of the toothbrush in the direction of the bracket, brush in small circular movements a dozen times, exerting a little pressure, then in "brushing-off" movements
- Cleaning the outer surface of the brackets: place the bristles of the toothbrush on the brackets, move the brush back and forth on 2-3 teeth, exerting a little pressure, then start the operation all over again on the next group of teeth
- Cleaning the teeth above the brackets: place the bristles of the toothbrush between the edges of the teeth and the brackets, move the brush back and forth on 2-3 teeth, exerting a little pressure, then start the operation all over again on the next group of teeth
- Do not forget to brush all the teeth: start at the top right, then top left, then bottom left, then bottom right
- Do not forget to brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces as well as the chewing (masticatory) surfaces of the teeth
- Good brushing ought to take 5 minutes.
The interdental brush completes the work of the toothbrush; it allows you to clean below the wire, somewhere which a toothbrush has difficulty accessing.
Which should you choose? A brush that is 3mm in diameter
How often? At least once a day, usually in the evening. On the other hand, it would be practicable to always have one on you to "troubleshoot" after a meal taken away from home when you don't have a toothbrush handy
How to use it
- Insert the brush under the wire through the gap in the gum with the point of the brush pointing towards the top of the tooth
- Move the brush back and forth 5 times in small movements, pressing against each bracket on one side of the gap and then on the other
- When you have finished, remove the brush, rinse it in water and start again in the next gap.
What happens if brushing is neglected or inadequate?
Any food ingested leaves traces in its path. The mouth contains a multitude of bacteria that feed on food left behind forming plaque.
Dental plaque adheres everywhere and especially to all non-smooth surfaces, such as a bracket or wire from an orthodontic device.
The more dental plaque there is, the more bacteria there are, and so on. The problem is that bacteria produce acidic debris; this debris attacks the surface of the teeth and irritates the gums:
- The surface of the teeth becomes softened and off-white, which is called “decalcification”; in fact, it is the onset of decay. Once the orthodontic device is removed, these off-white stains remain permanently
- The gums become swollen, red and start to bleed, which is the onset of gingivitis. If gums bleed from brushing, it is because they have not been brushed well; at the first sign of gingivitis, the situation can be salvaged by insisting more strongly on brushing
In conclusion, it is very important to brush your teeth carefully and regularly throughout your orthodontic treatment - don't give bacteria a chance!
If you wish, you can download the brushing instructions.