The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene during Orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic treatment can be a rewarding experience with life-changing benefits.  Many factors can affect a treatment’s success. Following the doctor’s recommendations, maintaining proper oral hygiene and a good diet, and keeping up all the appointments are some of the things that can help the doctor achieve the best treatment in the fastest time.  One of the biggest challenges I face as an orthodontist is teaching my patients the importance of proper oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Making teenagers understand the benefits of braces can be a difficult task. Making them understand the importance of proper and routine oral hygiene can be even harder. A good hygiene is of vital importance during orthodontic treatment. If proper brushing techniques are not followed and the oral hygiene neglected, terrible side effects may occur. Plaque or leftover food debris can easily accumulate around braces and if not properly removed can cause inflammation of the gums and bleeding, bone loss, decalcification, caries, and even tooth loss. Bad oral hygiene and excess food deposits on the teeth can also slow down the teeth from moving, causing unwanted tooth movement and consequently longer treatment time. If the oral hygiene deteriorates to a severe degree, braces may often need to be removed and orthodontic treatment paused or even discontinued. There are several recommendations I give to all my patients during treatment:

-Brush and floss at least three times a day, preferably even after every meal to prevent food from accumulating around the braces.

– Keep your regular appointments with the dentist and the hygienist. You may need a cleaning every three to four months instead of twice a year.  A manual toothbrush is as good as an electric toothbrush if proper brushing techniques are followed.

– Fluoride rinses are a must to prevent caries and decalcifications around braces. They must be used every night after brushing to prevent the common white spots seen around braces following removal.

Following a proper oral hygiene protocol is essential to obtaining the best orthodontic results possible and can not only speed up treatment, but also put a big smile on your orthodontist’s face

Dr. Reza Salmassian is a Board Certified Orthodontist and specializes in orthodontics for Children and Adults. For any questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation, please contact Dr. Salmassian’s office located at the Bridgeport Marketplace, 24001 Newhall Ranch Road, Suite 220 Tel: 661-222-7444 or visit www.salmassianortho.com.