If you’re like a lot of people we meet in and around our Sammamish and Issaquah offices, you may be wondering about the best way to keep up the oral health of your kiddos during orthodontic treatment. Maybe you’re wondering about it for yourself! After all, one-in-five new orthodontic patients are over the age of 25!
At Manley Orthodontics, we believe that an informed patient is a happy patient, and that’s why we’re always trying to go the extra mile for our amazing Manley Ortho family, and that means informative articles like this one! We’ll go over some of the top tips for oral health during orthodontic treatment, and there are some real surprises in there! For instance, did you know that one of the strongest tools in the proactive ortho patient’s arsenal is actually something as simple as salt water? It’s true! Read on, and we’ll get into that and a whole lot more!
Top Tips For Oral Health During Treatment
Without further ado, let’s get into it! Starting off:
Keeping it Simple – Oral Hygiene
This one shouldn’t be a surprise. When it comes to keeping healthy while you undergo orthodontic treatment, it all starts with developing and maintaining a strong oral hygiene routine.
So what does that mean?
Well, it means brushing and flossing at least twice a day, obviously, but that starts with the right toothbrush – Dr. Manley recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth and gums without causing irritation. If you’re dealing with braces, you should consider using a toothbrush with a smaller head to help navigate around brackets and wires more easily.
You should always brush after every meal, even snacks, so that could mean bumping it up from twice a day to three or more times! Believe us; you’ll be happy when the braces come off if you pay close attention to this simple detail! It’s easy for food particles and plaque to get trapped around braces, and that can lead to decay and gum problems. Take your time and be thorough, ensuring you clean all surfaces of your teeth and braces.
Flossing is so important but so often overlooked, especially during orthodontic treatment. Traditional flossing can, of course, be challenging with braces, so you might consider using tools like floss threaders, orthodontic flossers, or water flossers to make the process easier and more effective. Dr. Manley can recommend some he finds particularly effective during your regular visits.
Keeping it Current – Regular Check-Ups.
You should always be sure to attend your regularly-scheduled orthodontic appointments to ensure your braces or aligners are adjusted correctly. These appointments allow Dr. Manley to monitor your progress, make adjustments wherever necessary, and address any concerns regarding your orthodontic appliances. Regular check-ups are essential for successful treatment.
Keeping it Safe – Protecting Your Appliances
Nobody wants to have to deal with a dental emergency from physical activities like sports, and that goes into overdrive when we’re talking about throwing orthodontic treatment into the mix! It’s no fun to have an accident involving your teeth from something like failing to use a mouthguard when playing sports, for example, but now imagine that with braces – that’s a lot of potentially pointy problems!
So always remember to either ensure your child is wearing a mouthguard when they participate in sports or that you suit up with one if it’s you hitting the field! We can provide you with a mouthguard specifically tailored to protect your appliances, but a standard mouthguard you can get from any sporting goods store is also a whole lot better than nothing!
And hey, it’s not just sports! Some of us here at the office are guilty of chewing on pens, pencils, or our nails, but we always work to avoid habits like that due to the wear and tear it can cause on our teeth. And that goes double when it comes to ortho treatment! Take care of your braces, and they’ll take care of you!
Keeping it Comfortable – Manage Pain & Irritation
Modern orthodontic treatment has come a long way, and appliances are faster, more durable, and more lightweight than ever before. But still, some degree of discomfort is totally normal when it comes to ortho treatment. Luckily, it can be easily managed with a few simple tips.
One of the coolest and most surprising is simple saltwater! That’s right; you can manage pain or irritation by just combining common household table salt with lukewarm water for a refreshing rinse that is surprisingly effective at soothing oral irritation! It works so well because the saltwater raises the ph of your mouth, which makes it a lot harder for the bacteria behind a good bit of oral discomfort to survive there. Pretty cool!
And, of course, you can always manage pain with simple and effective over-the-counter NSAIDS such as Tylenol, Aspirin, or Advil. But trust us – the salt water rinse is a shockingly powerful tool for managing pain! Not only that, but it goes a long way toward improving the overall health of your oral environment, which goes right back to our first tip about hygiene.
Want More Tips? Give Us A Call Today!
And there you have it! Keep it simple, keep it current, keep it safe, and keep it comfortable. Follow those tips, and you’re on your way to an awesome orthodontic experience. But remember, a big part of that (keeping it current) means that we should get a chance to see your smiling face!
At Manley Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on creating and maintaining an environment where everyone in and around Issaquah and Sammamish will feel welcome and taken care of, so give us a call at 425-276-7563 or just fill out this form, and we can get started on the smile of a lifetime!