Dental Cleaning with Braces in Philadelphia, PA
Maintaining your oral hygiene is imperative while you have your braces on. Not only will it reduce the risk of gum irritation, but it will also protect your mouth against cavities. However, not many people know how to go about it. At Art of Smile - Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics, Dr. James is available to answer all of your inquiries about dental cleaning and other hygiene practices to ensure that your teeth, gums, and braces stay clean.
How Should You Brush With Braces?
Make sure to rinse your mouth before brushing, as this will help you dislodge any sticky food particles from your braces.
One of the most common misconceptions about brushing your teeth is that the harder you brush, the better, but this can't be further from the truth. Brushing too hard could damage the wires or brackets. Therefore, you want to stick to being gentle to protect your braces. Secondly, make sure to hold the toothbrush properly.
Scrub around each bracket as you brush the outer surfaces of your braces and teeth. Don't leave the back teeth out because they're the most prone to cavities. Also, focus on brushing down at the gumline since it is prone to tartar build-up.
Ideally, you should use circular motions to reach both the front and back of your teeth. However, dental cleaning becomes necessary when proper and adequate practices aren't carried out at home.
Why Is Dental Cleaning Necessary?
For one, dental cleanings should be a regular part of your routine as long as you have braces on. Plaque and tartar build-up is very common in teeth with braces since most people have difficulty sticking to a disciplined care regimen.
Furthermore, regular cleanings also keep tooth decay at bay. This type of decay occurs when the bacteria produce certain acids that harm your enamel. As a result, you may have dental cavities and the consequent toothache and infection that can result.
The importance of dental cleaning doesn't end here. It is usually during these sessions that your dentist is able to detect early warning signs of fracture and broken fillings.
Consequences of Bacterial Build-Up
A lack of good oral hygiene can make things more complicated than they initially ought to be. One of those complications can arise in the form of gingivitis.
Extreme plaque build-up on the teeth can trigger painful inflammation of the gums. If the root cause isn't treated in time, gingivitis may turn lethal. A typical symptom of this condition is puffy, red gums that begin bleeding as soon as you brush your teeth.
Another major complication of poor oral hygiene and plaque accumulation is periodontitis. Also known as gum disease, periodontitis is a condition that destroys your soft tissue and causes bone damage in the long run.
Some of the most common symptoms include puffy and tender gums, bad breath, pain while chewing, and pus between your gums and teeth.
However, there are ways to prevent the condition from developing in the first place. Regular dental checkups, along with daily flossing and brushing, can immensely help make your periodontitis better.
What to Expect In a Dental Cleaning Session
A dental cleaning appointment doesn't follow a different structure from a regular teeth cleaning. The only difference is that you may have to spend more time in the chair since your dentist will need time to clean around your braces.
Dental cleaning with braces is a bit of a challenge, especially since your dentist needs to examine your teeth carefully. The session usually starts with your professional gently washing water between your teeth and bands. This is done to remove bacteria that contribute to tartar and plaque build-up. They may also gently floss your teeth so your gums clear any food particles.
Professional dental cleanings help your dentist compare the state of your current oral health to your previous records. They're able to detect if you're going in the wrong direction. Hence, they're also able to intervene immediately. Furthermore, they help resolve and prevent bad breath.
The first step involves a dental exam, following which your dentist proceeds to remove tartar and plaque. During this process, your dentist may use a scaler to scrape the tartar off, depending on how hard it is.
Once your dentist has successfully removed tartar or plaque from your teeth, they may use an electric brush for deep cleaning. While it may have a strong grinding noise, the toothbrush doesn't cause any pain or discomfort. It is also known as teeth polishing and should be done twice a year based on your dentist's recommendation.
Following this, your dentist may floss your teeth and look for any signs of gum bleeding. Flossing is extremely helpful in removing leftover plaque traces. To remove the debris left behind, they may rinse your mouth with fluoride.
The final step usually involves the dentist conducting a fluoride treatment. This is when they may fit a fluoride-filled mouthpiece over your teeth.
What Toothbrush Should You Use at Home?
Electric toothbrushes are a great way to clean your teeth while you have your braces on. However, it's important to note that the mechanics and duration of using such toothbrushes aren't that different from manual brushes.
Since they come in many different styles, let your dentist recommend what will suit your needs best. A typical electric toothbrush has adjustable settings, multiple brush heads, travel cases, pressure sensors, and timers.
Make sure to determine what features are important to you before buying an electric toothbrush. As an alternative, a soft, manual toothbrush should work just fine.
Follow a Consistent Oral Hygiene Routine
After your dental cleaning session, your dentist will recommend following a strict oral hygiene routine. It's imperative that you follow it before arriving for your next cleaning session. Allocating time for these sessions, along with adequate care at home, is a must if you wish to maintain ideal oral health with braces.
To learn more about dental cleaning with braces and the possible consequences of poor oral hygiene, contact Art of Smile - Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics by calling us at (267) 703-7877 today.