Can you believe it? 2014 is almost over already! We hope all of you in Ottawa had wonderful holiday celebrations with your friends and families, and wish nothing but the best for 2015. With the new year right around the corner, people all over the capital city are learning from their experiences this year and looking forward to more success in the upcoming year by creating New Year’s resolutions. You’ve may have heard a friend resolving to be more frugal or take up a new hobby. Maybe your sister has vowed to go to the gym everyday, or perhaps you’ve even thought of a resolution for yourself, to further your career or live a more healthy lifestyle. Although it takes a lot of determination to change your routine for the whole year, a resolution to live healthier is actually a great way to start the year off on the right foot.
For those Ottawans with braces, if your New Year’s resolution involves healthier living, why not try an easy change to your routine, like an upgrade to your teeth-cleaning regimen? Don’t worry, we’re not here to give you a lecture, but if you’re planning to get your braces off next year, it is important to understand that if proper brushing techniques are not executed, you can be left with undesired discoloring, cavities on your teeth, or even swollen and infected gum tissue. You don’t have to panic, though, because we are here to help!
Following these steps while brushing your teeth will help you achieve proper braces hygiene and that perfect smile at the end of your orthodontic treatment:
Rinse your mouth with water to remove any loose food particles.
Using a regular bristle toothbrush and your favourite toothpaste, brush back and forth at about a 45 degree angle from your teeth on top of and below the wires.
Make sure to brush not only the brackets, wires and front of your teeth, but also the chewing surface, sides and back of the teeth, as well as the roof of your mouth, the insides of your cheeks, your tongue and your gums!
Some tooth brushes are labeled “orthodontic” but really any tooth brush work just fine. The orthodontic ones makes it a little easier to brush since they are smaller, double-ended brush with a cone shape on one end, and a tuft on the other designed to clean hard-to-reach areas. Each of these ends can also be found as individual brushes. They can de used to clean between brackets and behind the wires with the cone brush, upwards from the bottom of the tooth, and from the gum line downward. Use the smaller end for tight, over-crowded areas.
Rinse your mouth once again, this time swish mouthwash around and try to be as thorough as possible, swishing around each tooth.
For a demonstration of brushing and cleaning techniques with braces, check out this video, or ask us at your next appointment – we would be happy to show you. All it takes to achieve your goal of well-being is just a little more commitment to your own oral hygiene, not only for a New Year’s resolution, but for your overall health.
We wish you luck with your new routine and your 2015 New Year’s resolution! Happy New Year, Ottawa!