Oral hygiene & diet restrictions
Proper oral hygiene is always important, but it is especially critical when undergoing orthodontic treatment.
We recommend that you visit your dentist every three months while in treatment. This is because braces can make it more difficult for you to brush and floss properly.
Poor oral hygiene leads to plaque (bacteria and food particles) building up on the enamel, braces and gums. This leads to gingivitis (red, swollen, and bleeding gums) and scarring of the enamel and cavities. We recommend that you brush for at least two minutes four times a day with fluoride toothpaste. You need to brush after breakfast, after lunch (if schools do not allow lunchtime breaks, then as soon as you get home from school, after dinner, and before you go to bed. We recommend using a Sonicare® toothbrush for best results. Water Picks® can also be very helpful aids to maintain proper oral hygiene. Flossing is recommended at least once a day, preferably before going to bed.
This video can give you helpful instructions on how to properly brush and floss.
For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard, sticky, chewy, and brittle foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard and brittle foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Broken brackets lead to delays in your treatment progress. Sticky and chewy foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems.
Nail/cuticle biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.