You’ve worn braces for four years and you’re finally getting them off today. You’re excited to see your new smile but you’re also a little nervous. Will everything be okay? Will your smile look the way you’ve imagined it would? When the dentist takes them off, you notice your gums look red and your teeth have strange white spots. Your teeth straight but your smile doesn’t look exactly like you thought it would.
Orthodontics are amazing but they do come with some notable consequences. The day your dentist takes them off, your smile will be straight but years (or even months) of braces or bulky retainers can mean staining and gingivitis post-treatment.
Orthodontists know that this isn’t necessarily the patient’s fault — it’s difficult to brush and floss around orthodontics. Braces hide a portion of your tooth’s surface and the fragile wires make flossing a challenge. Lots of patients give up on consistent brushing and flossing within the first month or so of their orthodontic treatment because they feel like their time and effort is wasted. No matter how diligent they are about brushing and flossing, their teeth still feel unclean.
Getting orthodontics shouldn’t mean having to sacrifice your dental hygiene. No patient should get their braces off and see red, inflamed gums (a sign of gingivitis/early gum disease) or bad staining. If you’re thinking about going into orthodontics or if you already have braces or a permanent retainer that’s inhibiting your typical dental hygiene routine, there are a few different products you can try in order to achieve a cleaner, healthier smile.
Out of all the orthodontic-geared toothpaste products on the market, we’ve found the most success with the OrthoCare Fluoride-Free nHAp Toothpaste. This toothpaste specializes in preventing “white spots” and/or caries from developing underneath braces. White spots signify the demineralization of the tooth and represent the first step in the creation of a cavity. They often occur during orthodontic treatment since you can’t brush the entire tooth.
In order to fight orthodontic white spots, OrthoCare uses a mineral called nano-hydroxyapatite. Nano-hydroxyapatite makes up 98% of tooth enamel and can help prevent and restore weakening enamel. The tiny nanoparticles are able to easily bond with the remaining tooth enamel. It makes the enamel stronger, significantly decreasing the chance of demineralization.
The only obvious drawback of OrthoCare is the fact that it doesn’t contain fluoride. Because of this, we recommend using OrthoCare once a day (either in the morning or at night) and a toothpaste that contains fluoride the second time you brush. This will ensure that you get the benefits of both nano hydroxyapatite and traditional fluoride.
When you have orthodontics, food debris can easily get stuck between your teeth and the ortho-appliance. Not only is this uncomfortable, it also encourages tooth decay and gingivitis. This means that, although it’s harder, flossing with braces is even more important than flossing without braces.
To keep inflamed gums away, you have to floss — but how can you do that when there are brackets and braces over every tooth? This is where Platypus Orthodontic Flosser comes in handy. These flossers are specifically designed to fit around braces brackets, flossing in-between the teeth without knocking anything loose.
Flossing with braces can seem like a long, drawn-out orderal but with these flossers, it usually takes less than two minutes and you can floss one-handed. At just $8.69 for 30 flossers, it’s worth the small investment to keep your mouth gum-disease free.