There are many types of braces that can help straighten your teeth. Although some people still use traditional all-metal appliances, others may select more discreet orthodontic options such as ceramic brackets or lingual positioning.
Ceramic brackets can be paired with a traditional archwire to straighten the teeth, while still permitting the bracket color to blend with the natural hues of the tooth enamel. Lingual brackets are brackets that are positioned on the side of the teeth that lies adjacent to the tongue. The placement hides the brackets from view so that they are less noticeable when the patient eats, speaks, and smiles.
Regardless of the type of braces that are used to straighten the teeth, patients should exercise care to ensure that their teeth and their appliance stay in good shape for the duration of their treatment. Still, many orthodontic patients are tempted to neglect thorough brushing and flossing because they find it more time-consuming with their appliance in place. Nevertheless, routine dental hygiene measures are necessary to avoid decay.
Although it may seem cumbersome to navigate around the brackets, wires, and bands that make up your appliance, the routine cleaning of your teeth during your orthodontic treatment will get easier over time. To facilitate the process, your provider will likely suggest helpful tools. Here are a few of them:
Floss threaders make it easier to navigate string floss around the components of your appliance, allowing you to floss your teeth in the usual manner. The plastic threaders are flexible loops; you simply insert your floss and guide the loop through the space between the teeth.
Interdental brushes, which work like tiny pipe cleaners, are soft, flexible, and able to reach between wires or even between teeth to clear away plaque and debris. With a tapered shape, these brushes can safely squeeze into the spaces between wires and brackets where a traditional toothbrush is unable to reach.
Additionally, for patients who desire an easy alternative due to dexterity issues or time constraints, an oral irrigator may be the best option. Oral irrigators use a concentrated stream of water instead of string floss to flush plaque from between the teeth.
With your brackets in place, plaque can build up on additional surface areas. Since the bacteria in the plaque produce the acids that demineralize the teeth to cause cavities, it is important to reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth throughout your treatment.
To learn more ways to care for your teeth without compromising the safety of your braces, schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in your local area.