The most important factor in achieving an excellent orthodontic result is maintaining good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing keep your gyms and teeth healthy and can actually shorten treatment time. We recommend brushing and flossing after every meal, especially paying attention to the area below the braces (along the gum line) which is often times the most neglected. It is very important that every patient is seeing their general dentist for regular cleanings at least once every six months. Most dentists prefer even shorter intervals, such as every 3-4 months. A water pick is recommended for those who have trouble cleaning under the wire with a standard toothbrush.
Brushing and flossing are only one component to achieving an exceptional result. The other important factor is to avoid hard, sugary, or sticky foods that can break your braces or cause decay. These foods can include popcorn, nuts, gum, taffy, and hard candy just to name a few. There are also certain drinks that have a low PH (similar to stomach acid) that along with plaque, can lead to white spots on the teeth and decay. These drinks include soda, juices, energy drinks, and sports drinks.
Brushing, flossing, and avoiding damaging foods and drinks can significantly decrease the chances of developing any white spots or decay. Dr. Helms will also provide a fluoride mouth wash that will improve your oral hygiene.