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Self dignosis

Before & after orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic treatment is expensive and time consuming and the benefit can be ruined by poor tooth cleaning both before, during and after the treatment.

Before Treatment

Clean teeth are a sure sign a person who takes care of themselves, whereas unclean teeth indicates a person who does not mind bad breath and rapid tooth decay. A person who’s teeth are clean is a joy to work on and rewarding for both the orthodontist and the patient.

Have you noticed the soft colourless substance adhering to your teeth? It is called plaque and is the home to millions of bacteria that is the principle cause of tooth decay and gum disease.

The best time to clean your teeth is before breakfast, using a fluoride toothpaste. Remember also to brush your teeth thoroughly after each meal and last thing at night. Avoid foods containing high amounts of sugar such as sweets and fizzy drinks. Remember that unclean smelly teeth could be a good reason for your orthodontist to refuse or abandon treatment.

During Treatment

Most orthodontic treatments require the use of fixed braces attached to your teeth, which makes the cleaning of your teeth more difficult, so it becomes even more important to take care and thoroughly clean your teeth. Start by using a small headed tooth brush which is much easier to get down in between the teeth and around the brackets and wires. Rotate the brush round and round rather than up and down. Remember to clean the inside of the teeth as well as the tops and don’t overlook the gums. Get rid of the bacteria breeding ground called plaque. The whole process should take two or three minutes at least and then rinse your mouth with water. Your mouth and teeth should feel silky smooth as well as taste “clean”.

Brackets are not fixed permanently so that they can be removed after treatment but that does mean that they can be broken or bent by eating the wrong foods. Avoid hard and sticky foods particularly toffees and chewing gum. Remember that sweets generate bacteria which will be more difficult to remove with braces in place. So it would be best to avoid sweets and fizzy sugary drinks altogether during treatment.

After Treatment

If you have taken care of your teeth during treatment then why not continue to avoid sweets and sugary fizzy drinks and eat fruit more often. Teeth still need regular cleaning to protect them from decay. You only have one set of teeth and if they are now a perfect shape you will be able to smile happily and enjoy life.

The Cambridge Centre for Orthodontics, 72 Canterbury St, Cambridge, CB4 3QF, T: 01223 350937