Oral Hygiene

The doctors and staff at Owl Orthodontics want all our patients to have an enjoyable orthodontic experience. Our philosophy is to treat each patient with love and care while providing them with the exceptional orthodontic treatment they deserve. We are an Amherst orthodontics practice that truly cares about our patients and we’re confident it shows in everything we do!

Importance of Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

While it’s always important to practice excellent oral hygiene, it’s even more important when you’re in orthodontic treatment because your braces or Invisalign aligners can trap food particles easily to put you at higher risk for developing tooth decay and other common dental problems. While it is a bit more challenging to keep your teeth and appliances clean, you can do it! Below is an overview of why you must work hard to maintain good oral hygiene for the entire time you’re in orthodontic treatment.

Plaque: Your Teeth’s #1 Enemy

Tiny bits of food that become trapped near tooth surfaces can lead to the formation of plaque – a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth containing millions of harmful bacteria. This bacteria feeds off the sugars present in the foods you eat to produce acids which attack tooth enamel and irritate gums. This can lead to the development of tooth decay, white spots on teeth, gum disease and foul-smelling breath.

Controlling plaque is one the the best things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy while you’re in orthodontic treatment. You can control plaque in three general ways:

  • By eating a healthy diet low in sugars and starches
  • By doing a great job of brushing & flossing
  • By visiting your family dentist for regular checkups and cleanings

All these things, when done together, are your best line of defense against common problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Maintain a Healthy Diet for A Problem-Free Orthodontic Experience

One of the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet while avoiding foods & snacks that put you at higher risk for tooth decay. You should be eating foods from the five main food groups every day while cutting back on or eliminating unhealthy foods that contain high amounts of sugars and starches like cookies, candies, chips and crackers. You should also steer clear of sticky and gooey foods that can linger on your teeth to put you at higher risk for developing cavities like caramels, toffee and licorice.

It is equally important to avoid foods that can damage or break your appliances like hard, crunchy and sticky foods and snacks. The last thing you want is to find out that you will need to wear braces longer than you expected because you ate something you shouldn’t have. So adhere to the food list we gave you when you started wearing braces so you don’t have to schedule any emergency appointments with our Amherst orthodontist office! You can still eat healthy foods like apples and carrots as long as you cut them into small bite-sized pieces first. And don’t chew on your fingernails, pencils or ice as these are all braces-busting habits that can even chip teeth!

Oral Hygiene Tips from Your Amherst Orthodontist

Brushing: We recommend using a soft bristled toothbrush or a bi-level toothbrush for effective plaque removal when wearing braces. You can also use an electric toothbrush on a moderate setting if you wish. If you find it difficult to brush between and around your appliances, you can use a Proxabrush which is a small brush shaped like a pipe cleaner that can reach into all those nooks and crannies to brush away plaque.

Flossing: You should floss your teeth at least one time each day. We recommend using a floss threader that makes it easier to get the floss between the wires of your braces and the gum line. Our staff will go over the basic brushing and flossing techniques you should use when we place braces on your teeth.

We might recommend an in-office or at-home supplemental fluoride treatment to help you avoid getting cavities. We may also recommend you use an antiseptic mouth rinse if you are experiencing any gum irritation or inflammation.

Retainer Care:If you’re in the retention phase of your treatment, it’s important to wear your retainer as directed and to keep it clean. Simply brush retainer like you brush your teeth and then rinse it afterward. Just don’t use hot water as it can warp your retainer to make it unusable. And to avoid damaging or losing your retainer, always keep it in a case when it’s not in your mouth.

See Your Dentist Regularly

Even though you are being treated by an orthodontist, you still need to visit your family dentist regularly for routine checkups and professional cleanings. Your dentist and hygienist can spot a potential problem with your teeth early on before it can develop into a bigger problem that may throw your orthodontic treatment off track. Together, our office, you and your family dentist can keep your teeth and gums healthy for the entire time you’re wearing braces so you can smile with complete confidence!

Contact Your Amherst Orthodontist

If at any time during your orthodontic treatment you have questions or concerns, please contact us at one of our five orthodontic offices in Amherst, Clarence, Williamsville, Grand Island and Depew, NY. We want you to have a very positive & trouble-free orthodontic experience so you can obtain your incredible new smile as quickly and efficiently as possible!

Daily Maintenance

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