Archive for August, 2012

Oral Home Care With Braces !

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Orthodontic treatment is growing in popularity among children and adults who are seeking the benefits of a healthy smile.  Those of us who have undergone orthodontic care or treated patients in braces are keenly aware of the challenges posed to maintaining oral health.  Trying to maneuver a toothbrush around brackets, working floss under a wire, or keeping plaque off of an appliance can be difficult for even a dental professional.  Here are some tips to help you keep your new smile as healthy as possible.

Toothbrush – The shape and design of a basic manual toothbrush does not help get into the nooks-n-cranies of brackets and bands.  The flat heads often brush above or below the wire but miss what is under the wire or embedded around the bracket itself.  Ultrasonic brushes, such as SoniCare, use a combination of the touch of a bristle and an ultrasonic pulse to blast food and plaque away from the brackets and the wire.  This helps to prevent decay from leaking under the brackets and bands.

Tooth Paste – Orthodontic patients should use a highly fluoridated tooth paste.  Bacteria love to find homes in the enamel around brackets and bands.  Once attached, they begin to break down the surface of the enamel.  Brushing helps to break up these bacterial colonies, but fluoride helps to remineralize the enamel structure.

Cleaning Between Teeth – Flossing is always difficult, but now that there is a wire in the way it is even more of a problem.   During orthodontics, however, cleaning between the teeth becomes even more of a necessity.  Many types of floss threaders have been developed to help patients get under their wires and between their teeth, and if flossing is not your favorite thing, then inter-dental brushes can be used to get between teeth and clean out spaces which are changing in size as your teeth find their new position in the arch.

IrrigationWater Picks are a great way to clean debris away from orthodontic expanders and appliances, and the American Academy of Periodontology claims that irrigation of the gums during orthodontics helps to prevent gingivitis.  Patients can use water to irrigate around their brackets, but adding Listerine or Saline to the system boosts the effective results of your hard work.

Listerine – Rinsing with Listerine daily helps to kill the bacteria which causes gum disease and decay.  Rinse vigorously for 45 seconds twice a day while you are in braces.

Fluoride RinseACT Fluoride and other rinses are great ways to protect your teeth from getting cavities around your brackets, bands and orthodontic appliances.  First remove the plaque.  Then repair the surface of the tooth with a good Fluoride rinse to remineralize the surfaces which may have been damaged.

Time – Probably the most important element in Oral Home Care while a patient is in orthodontics is TIME!   You must take an increased amount of time to take care of you teeth.  Watch yourself in the mirror as you brush and floss.  Make sure you get every angle and corner.  The time you spend on your oral hygiene may be twice what you spent before you had your braces . . . maybe more!  Take the time to take care of your teeth.  Orthodontics is a major investment of both money and time.  We all want you to have a beautiful, healthy and straight smile.

If you ever have any questions about hygiene products, please feel free to ask Dr. Freeman, Dr. Scott or one of our Dental Team Members.  We often have free samples and coupons we can give to you to try!


Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3290 Church Road                                                                                                                                                                           Henrico, VA   23233                                                                                                                                                             





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