Yes, spring is the perfect time to re-think your teeth and oral care regimen.
Why not, since you’re already in the swing of spring cleaning! Keeping your teeth clean while you’re wearing braces doesn’t have to be a chore. Just be sure to be thorough and consistent with your brushing and flossing, and your smile should be in great shape by the time you get your braces removed! Patino Orthodontics put together some helpful tips to keep you on track with your oral hygiene. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us at your next appointment or call (925)-849-4463 anytime!
1. Brushing: You should brush your teeth at least three times a day, after each meal, to remove the cavity-causing bacteria that accumulate in your mouth and on your teeth. Before brushing, be sure to remove any accessories, such as elastic bands, from your mouth. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth for a total of two minutes. Brush firmly enough to feel the bristles along the gums, but not so hard that the bristles are being squashed.
2. Flossing: Traditional flossing can be particularly challenging when you’re wearing braces, but it is important to do after brushing at night! There are several flossing products such as floss threaders that are designed to make flossing easier for patients with braces. Talk to Dr. Aurora Patino to see if she is able to provide you with any products to aid in the flossing process.
3. Replace that old toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, so toss that old toothbrush and treat yourself to a fresh, new toothbrush for the fresh, new season!
4. Resolve to include a new habit in your daily oral care routine. Try to be more diligent about regular flossing, be sure to brush your teeth after every meal, or start using mouthwash on a regular basis.
5. Thoroughly clean your orthodontic appliances and equipment: your retainer, mouth guard, headgear, and don’t forget the cases that hold those items. Denture cleaning tablets, white vinegar, and baking soda can all help make the “spring” cleaning process easier, and all of them are very effective, and safe, cleaning agents.
6. Cut down on sugary snacks: You probably had your share of candy over the holidays, and now it’s time to give your teeth a break. Cavity-causing bacteria turn sugar into acids that eat away at our teeth. So one big favor you can do for your teeth is to cut down on your sugar intake. Instead of soda, choose water. Instead of candy, satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit. If you do decide to eat a sugary treat, don’t take forever to eat it. Letting sugar hang around on your teeth for long periods is a major cause of tooth decay.
The Risks Of Avoiding Dental Exams
Your mouth is full of bacteria. Over 300 strains of it, in fact. Many of those strains are able to metabolize sugars into acid that softens and wears away enamel, causing cavities to form. That same bacteria is also responsible for getting beneath your gums and causing gum disease.
Has your mouth ever felt slimy at the end of the day? That’s plaque bacteria that’s been building up all day. You brush your teeth and floss to keep its spread in check, but that won’t stop it from causing serious problems in the meantime!
Without professional dental care plaque is able to build up in the most vulnerable spots in your mouth. Those spots are usually ones that you can’t reach with normal cleaning habits, which is why they’re so dangerous. Not only will they remain full of bacteria, but it’s impossible for you to notice once a cavity has begun. We see plenty of patients who have been away from the dentist, only to return with multiple cavities in spots that they could never have seen or kept clean.
The same goes for gum disease – when it’s able to sneak below your gumline it starts to spread like wildfire, causing an infection that your body responds to with inflammation. Inflamed gum tissues start to recede, bleed, swell, and become sensitive. Many times those hard-to-clean spots are the first to become infected, and gum disease is only noticed once it is already spreading and becoming serious.
What A Cleaning Can Do For You
Studies suggest that around 90 percent of us will end up with a cavity at some point in our lives. That means that a great many people, even if they see the dentist regularly, will still develop tooth decay. The trick to treating a cavity when it’s just a pinhole versus a serious problem is regular cleanings and exams.
We use X-rays, digital scans, and other imaging techniques to detect cavities when they’re barely forming. When we see even the smallest problem we’re able to address it right then and there with fluoride treatments, sealants, and fillings that can stop the spread of bacteria further and further into your teeth.
Cleanings and exams also involve probing the size of your gingival pockets, which can give us an indicator of any gum disease. Even a few millimeters of variation is enough to allow us to identify, treat, and reverse the damage caused by gum disease.
Getting Back On The Straight & Narrow
We understand the kinds of factors that might have prevented you from being as timely as you should be with your (or your family’s) trips to the dentist. Work, school, family, and more can keep you perpetually tied up and too busy for your own good.
The problem with that is, your teeth don’t care how busy you are, or what time of the year it is. Just like any other part of your body that needs the attention of a medical professional, your smile needs treatment or else it could fail.
Worst case scenarios aside, just having to put up with all of the problems that come with having crooked or buck-teeth is bad enough; from the name-calling and problems chewing, to just being uncomfortable in the skin you’re in, poor orthodontics health takes its toll on more than just your oral health, but your emotional well being, too.
Fortunately, our practice can offer you and yours a wide variety of orthodontic services that will get just about any smile back on track with healthier, straighter teeth! Together, we can help your family have the straightest possible smiles, with effects you can notice the time next Spring finally rolls around!
If you’ve been procrastinating on visiting the orthdontist due to a bad case of dental anxiety, you’ll be relieved to know that you have nothing to worry about when you visit Patino Orthodontics. We make it our mission to provide you comprehensive preventative care in a relaxed and comfortable environment. We don’t just clean your teeth and fill your cavities, we provide you with an excellent dental experience from the moment you walk in the door and even after you leave. We make your comfort our number one priority.
The truth is, the longer you wait to see your orthdontist, the worse the outcome is likely to be. Don’t wait until your small cavities become large ones or you start to see the first signs of gum disease. Visit Patino Orthodontics regularly and we’ll keep your teeth in excellent condition all year round. Problems are always much easier and far less costly to solve when we find them quickly.