Are you a pro in dental hygiene? We will tell you the 8 most frequent errors when brushing teeth with orthodontic treatment:
- The exclusive use of dental mouthwash and unsweetened gums are not enough. We know scientifically that mouthwash alone cannot eliminate interdental plaque. Unsweetened gum is also insufficient in bringing down the pH of the saliva if interdental plaque is not eliminated through a thorough brushing of the teeth because plaque would continue to form around the interproximal areas.
Also, gum produces tension in the adhesive and may cause decementation of the orthodontic appliance.
- Allot the sufficient time for brushing The main error is not brushing the teeth or brushing the teeth the insufficient which leaves areas uncleaned. To maintain the teeth healthy, brushing must be done “at least” 2 times a day (ideally 3) and for 3-4 minutes each time (an average song lasts 3-4 minutes so it isn’t all that bad). If you don’t have braces 2 minutes should be enough but with fixed orthodontic treatment you have to increase the brushing time in order to do it well. Although neither should you over do it. Brushing 5 times a day is not going to improve your dental health; it can produce gingival recession and leave the roots exposed which will contribute to dental sensitivity. 2-3 times a day should be enough.
- Focus, don’t brush your teeth while doing other tasks: It is demonstrated that multitasking does not work, it makes you go slower with your task and the results are less effective. Brushing needs attention so as not to brush 3 times in cetratin areas while none in others. To go over the more difficult areas (behind the last molars, between the gums, the inside surface of the teeth, the triangles that form between the arch and the surfaces between teeth) without over doing it. Look in the mirror and focus, make sure that when you finish there are no left overs.
- Keep the brush dry before brushing the teeth: The bristles of the toothbrush are made of tinex which is a material that absorb moisture like cotton. If cotton is wet, it is like cleaning with a sponge filled with water. The bristles soften and can’t remove particles.
- Use just a bit of toothpaste, the size of a pea is enough. Although it may appear strange, more toothpaste does not mean better. It would be better to clean the teeth with less toothpaste than to fill the mouth with foam but not reach the hard to clean areas.
- Wait 15 to 30 minutes after meals to clean your teeth, especially if you had taken some acidic food like lemon or oranges that can abrade the tooth Surface. Waiting would give the saliva time to neutralize the acids.
- Do a gentle gargle to finish off. Toothpaste has fluoride and/or other substances that can help you avoid sensibility and bleeding, if you gargle hard the prime component of the mouthwash will not have the chance to do its work.
- Change the toothbrush every 3 months, or to say, every season. You don’t have to wait for all the bristles to be totally horizontal. When you see the ends worn down it becomes less effective and you end up pressing the toothbrush down on your teeth and gums which can cause tooth abrasion and bleeding gums. If you see the need to change it, you can do it every 2 months. In the case of electric toothbrushes, it is convenient to change the heads with more frequency as they wear down faster