More and more children today exhibit a mouth full of bands, hooks and threads. But thanks to the arrival on the market of invisible aligners, the appliance for straightening teeth is also spreading among adults who want realign their teeth and put back your smile. Once it has been put on, however, it is essential for everyone to follow proper cleaning and oral hygiene, as well as make the right choices at the table: in order to prevent the braces from turning into an unsuspected enemy of the health of the mouth. Discover, step by step, the tailor-made advice from our experts.
If the appliance is fixed, go to the hygienist once a month
The appliance fixed is the solution that exposes you to the greatest risks: «The attacks (ie i brackets) can retain food residues which, by stagnating, offer the germs of the mouth the raw material to grow and organize themselves in the fearful plaque, increasing the chances of tooth decay and gingival inflammation “, explains the professor Laura Strohmenger, pediatric dentist in Milan. «The teeth must be cleaned after every meal for at least 3 minutes using a fluoride toothpaste, which strengthens enamel crystals, and one orthodontic toothbrush. The latter, thanks to the particular shape of its bristles, allows to overcome the metal elements of the appliance, thus guaranteeing targeted cleaning ».
But be careful to maneuver it correctly: “It must be moved from the gum to the crown, also passing it on the inner surface of the arches and tilting it at 45 °, to clean the gum line well”, suggests the doctor. Francesca Cannizzaro, dental hygienist in Milan. With some exceptions: «For the hygiene of molars and premolars, the toothbrush must be kept horizontal, so that penetrate better into the grooves and dimples“. Alternatively, you can use the electric version, but strictly with an orthodontic head which, equipped with a central single tuft, perfectly cleans the brackets.
Then, after brushing, it is necessary to clean the interdental spaces, the sides of the attachments and the back of the threads with a orthodontic brush: similar to miniature toilet brushes, they are available in different shapes and sizes. «The dental hygienist can suggest the most suitable model based on each mouth and the type of appliance used. Then, once a month, it is advisable to note thorough cleaning carried out by the specialist with a pressurized water instrument and ultrasound. To be associated, possibly, with fluoride gel packs, which further strengthen the enamel», Dr. Cannizzaro points out.
If the appliance is mobile, an antibacterial must be used every 2 weeks
The steps for perfect oral hygiene become easier for those who wear mobile and transparent braces: “Just take them off just before a meal and then clean your teeth with a brush and dental floss”, suggests Dr. Francesca Canizzaro. “But before you put them back in your mouth they must be rinsed with cold water and a toothbrush with soft bristles, so you need to dry them with a towel. A procedure that, in the case of the mobile device, must also be carried out before putting it back in its container“.
Furthermore, a couple of times a week it is useful to clean it “fine”: “You have to leave it to soak in a basin of water where you have melted a special effervescent tablet from action antibacterial. The same solution should also be used to clean the case in which the device is stored, to prevent it from turning into a receptacle for bacteria », points out the dental hygienist.
No to gummy candies
To ensure proper oral hygiene, you must also pay attention to your diet: “Sticky foods such as gummy sweets, toffee, chewing gum and caramel chocolate bars should always be avoided, for example. they could stick to the appliance and then be difficult to remove, ”warns Professor Laura Strohmenger.
No even at carbonated and sugary drinks: the former have a corrosive action for the enamel; the latter, on the other hand, facilitate the proliferation of the plate which, thanks to bands, terminals and wires, it already has easier life in boccto. “On the other hand, it is useful to drink a lot of water, because it helps to remove food residues from the appliance,” adds Esper.
The extra guarantee
To lower the risk of caries, the dentist may propose to perform the dental appliance before bonding the fixed orthodontic appliance sealing. «It consists in the application of a transparent, non-toxic and slow-releasing fluorine varnish that is spread on the grooves of the molars, where it is more difficult to remove food residues and plaque with a toothbrush, ”explains Professor Laura Strohmenger. Thanks to this protection, the mouth is further protected from the aggression of caries germs.