Article reviewed by:
Dr Soh Shean Han • Orthodontist
October is National Orthodontic Health Month in America! As we celebrate healthy, beautiful smiles and the benefits of orthodontic care, let’s not forget the importance of good oral health amongst orthodontic patients and those interested in starting treatment! Maintaining dental health in orthodontic treatment can be fuss-free.
Dr Soh Shean Han, a dental specialist in orthodontics, board-certified by American Board of Orthodontics, and a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), shares more about the processes and benefits of orthodontic treatment.
How orthodontic treatment can improve dental health and quality of life
Orthodontic treatment helps to:
- Create a better fit of your teeth, providing a better bite
A bad bite can cause abnormal wearing down of teeth, difficulty in chewing or speaking, excess stress on teeth, and supporting gum and bone tissue.
- Straighten your teeth
Well-aligned teeth look and feel good. Crooked and crowded teeth can make cleaning difficult. Hard-to-clean areas have a higher risk of decay and gum disease.
- Support the work of other specialties, by creating the ideal space to restore missing teeth or reduce gum-related issues
Before embarking on treatment
Arrange a visit to your dentist or dental specialist for a dental health evaluation. It is crucial to ensure that you have healthy teeth and gums to provide a good foundation supporting tooth movement.
5 tips for caring for your dental health during orthodontic treatment
Maintaining dental health during orthodontic treatment is not only beneficial but also straightforward with these five tips, namely:
1. Minimize food and drinks that are high in sugar and/or acidic content, e.g., soda, carbonated energy drinks
Such food and drinks increase the risk of tooth decay. Avoid sipping on soft drinks over a long period, as each sip reinitiates the acid attack on teeth. If you have to, enjoy your sweet and carbonated drink through a straw and gargle your mouth with water after these drinks.
2. Stay away from hard, chewy or sticky food such as caramel, jellybeans, nuts, ice
Hard or sticky foods can increase the risk of your appliance’s breakage, requiring a trip to your orthodontist to repair it. Recurrent episodes can increase overall treatment duration. Sticky sugary snacks are also harder to brush off and can increase the risk of tooth decay.
3. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste (1000 -1450ppm)
For an effective clean, ensure your brush bristles go around the brackets.
4. Floss once a day
In addition to flossing daily, remember to use the interdental aides prescribed by your orthodontist. These brushes help to clean the spaces between your teeth and orthodontic appliance.
5. Visit your dentist regularly
Regular reviews and scaling sessions ensure your teeth and gums are in an optimal condition. The frequency of visits depends on your dental risk status determined by your dentist.
Schedule a consult with our orthodontist to find out how orthodontic treatment can benefit you and the options that best fit your needs.