How to Clean your Teeth With Braces

At Pure Dental Arts, Patients with orthodontic braces often wonder about the best way to keep their teeth clean. After all, braces may contribute to a higher risk of cavities and gum disease if the patient doesn’t know how to clean her teeth properly. We will discuss how to do it here!

Frequently, after orthodontic treatment is completed and the brackets have been removed, we often see white marks left on the teeth, as well as swollen gums with possible chronic gum disease. These white spots occur 25% of the time. These regions are areas where the enamel has been demineralized, and is a precursor to cavities (caries). The main cause is inadequate cleaning.

Research has shown that electronic toothbrushes (think Sonicare or Oral B) showed greater brushing efficacy. However, proper brushing times, understanding of proper bristle positioning i.e. technique are still incredibly important. You should brush for the full 2 minutes, 1 minute per arch (upper and lower). Also the bristles must be positioned at a 45 degree angle to the gum line. The idea is to not only clean a little beneath the gumline, but to also clean the region just above where the orthodontic brackets are bonded to the tooth, as this edged area has a tendency to collect tremendous amounts of plaque.

It is important to brush with a fluoride tooth paste at least two times per day, after each meal, for a minimum of 2 minutes per session. You want to ensure that you brush all the teeth surfaces, front, back, and the chewing surfaces also. Special attention needs to be paid to the region between the wires and the teeth, and between the gums and the bracket, as that is where most of the food debris collects!

We also highly recommend regular flossing. Due to the wires and brackets, conventional floss will not work, you will need to implement floss threaders. It’s a bit like threading a needle, you insert one and of the floss (which has a plastic tip) underneath the arch wire. You then grab the floss on each end and work it in between the teeth until you have removed the plaque.

You may also want to implement other manual tools to aid in your efforts

A) Interdental tooth brush: it looks like a mini pipe cleaner. Use this to gently scrub in between the teeth, in all the nooks and crannies.

B) Water pick: this is a device that ejects a stream of water under pressure which can help free up pieces of food and “gunk” that has collected around your teeth and braces. Keep in mind it is not a substitute for brushing/flossing.

To find out more how to clean around braces, call Pure Dental Arts at 2064868600 today!.

References 

  1. Hock Hoe Goh and Bridget Double day. Aids for mechanical cleaning of teeth with fixed braces. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. January 2018. CD012931
  1. Franz Martin Sander et. Al. Dental care during orthodontic treatment with electric toothbrushes. J Orofac Orthop. September 2006

Welcome to our practice

Dear reader,

This is my first blog entry, so I think an introduction is in order. My name is Evan Chiang, and I’m a dentist at Queen AnneDental Care Dental. Together with my good friend and business partner, Yogesh Goel, we seek to provide high quality dental care in a convenient, personalized way. We are truly honored to be members of the Queen Anne community. This blog is an opportunity for me to express some of the thoughts that go on in the mind of a busy, everyday dentist “working in the trenches.” There will be plenty of (hopefully!) interesting anecdotes that will help shed some light on my mysterious, seemingly boring profession. I also look forward to reading your comments and thoughts. For Yogesh and myself, owning our own practice is truly a milestone in our lives, as we’ve spent most of our careers working for other people. So, in March the adventure begins! We welcome you take the journey with us!
 

How to save money at the Dentist

In the last blog, we discussed how dental insurance works and how the benefits provided by dental insurance are sometimes not adequate in dealing with the dental problems. Getting good quality Dental care is further complicated by the rising healthcare cost. In light of these facts, it is becoming more and more important to learn about ways to save money at the dentist. In this blog entry I intend to highlight a few points which I believe will help you rein in the cost of dental care.

1. Prevention is the key
As the old saying goes – An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of care. This could not be more true in today’s world. Not only it will save you tons of money in the long run but also save you time, potential discomfort, loss of function etc. Here are a few things to help prevent dental issues and hence the cost –
Regular brushing, flossing and using mouthwash
Regular dental checkup
Avoiding too much of acidic, sugary drinks (energy drinks, soda) – Acid and sugar are lethal combination that can rapidly destroy the teeth.

2. Taking care of small problems 
“I don’t have any pain, why should I go to a dentist?”
Many of us think that if there is no pain, it might be okay to wait. Majority of the dental problem do not hurt in the initial stage. You may not feel any pain, sensitivity for prolonged period of time. Most of dental problems are silent in nature. It is like having high blood pressure which do not interfere in day to day function unless it is out of control. Small cavities and the onset of gum infection are often painless and present no symptoms. At this stage, treating them is often easy, quick, painless and cheap. Treating disease or dental condition like cavities and gum infection in early stages can often save the teeth and the gum structure.
Waiting for it to hurt or cause problems like sensitivity, pain, fracture  is often an indication that problem has gone too far and may require more advance procedure to save the teeth which may be expensive and time consuming. Again, regular dental checkups is the key to help identify issues in a timely manner and avoid expensive treatments.

3. Doing it in stages
Sometime it is possible to do dental treatment in stages. Taking care of any active infection and pain is the first priority. After that, sometime it is possible to divide the treatment in stages – this can ensure that you don’t incur significant expenses upfront. It  helps in planning with regards to time and finances.

4. Alternative treatment
Ask if there are any alternatives available to the recommended dental treatment. Most of the times the proposed treatment is the ideal one but sometimes there are alternatives available. The alternative options may have some drawbacks or shortcoming but they can work at a more affordable cost.

5. Ask questions
It is very important that you get involved in the care. The more informed you are about your dental health, the better it will be for you in long run. Ask for a plan from your dentist. Think about what are your immediate and long term goals with respect to your teeth. Ask your dentist how they can help you achieve your goals.

Contact us at Queen Anne Dental at 206-486-8600 for any questions or concerns.