Caries is an infectious disease caused by the bacterial flora of the oral cavity. Dental cavities occur in areas of a tooth that have lost outer protection due to a process that gradually dissolves the tooth’s hard outer surface, known as tooth enamel. As a result, the infection progresses into the tooth’s interior, affecting a patient’s oral health.
People often minimize the fact of suffering from dental caries and its implications in the future. However, it is essential to raise awareness of this common problem before it is too late.
It may be likely that the little importance people give to caries is what they ignore, as it seems a common issue. After all, the fact that everyone has had caries at some point has made the problem seen as typical.
Caries don’t cause alarm in relation to other dental problems. Indeed, failure to treat cavities in time can cause them to advance to deeper layers of the tooth. Specifically, when it reaches the dentin is when the real problems occur.
When left untreated, the periodontal ligaments, the jaw bone, and the gums usually suffer damage and might cause acute and intense pain. What should be more preoccupying for a patient is that if a cavity advances further, it can penetrate the tooth pulp.
A cavity reaching the pulp could cause unbearable pain and a severe infection that, in the worst case, leads to tooth loss. Moreover, orthodontic treatment makes oral hygiene a complicated task.
Consequently, neglecting the importance of avoiding cavities while on braces can also negatively impact the treatment outcome. This article talks about one easy-to-implement measure to reduce cavities development during orthodontic treatment with braces, and we talk about water irrigators.
What Is a Waterpik?
A dental irrigator is an object used to apply a stream of water or a medical solution using a pressurized jet to thoroughly clean teeth and gums.
There are different types of dental irrigators or water flossers on the market. However, Waterpik designs various models that include specialized irrigators for the user of braces.
Incidentally, water irrigators do not require prior training, and patients can use them at home. In short, water irrigators are formidable complementary tools for deep dental floss cleaning on our own.
How to Use a Waterpik?
Using a dental irrigator isn’t complicated, and you don’t really need manual dexterity to use it. However, there are some details you must know before starting with it.
We recommend patients follow the gum line and pass it through the teeth arch. Patients must launch the water jet directly towards the line that draws the gingiva with the tooth between all the interdental spaces.
You should splash every tooth for two seconds. It might take a couple of minutes to complete the entire process in the entire mouth. We also suggest patients use the irrigator after night brushing.
How to Clean a Waterpik?
It is essential to clean a water irrigator at least once a month profoundly.
First, patients can empty the tank (water reservoir) so there is no standing water. Secondly, let the irrigator dry to prevent moisture from entering the internal areas. Then, store the irrigator in a dry and safe place.
You can clean the tank with liquid soap and water every two weeks. You might want to use vinegar when cleaning the irrigator’s head. To do so, mix half a glass of water and vinegar, submerging the brush head for ten minutes. Finally, rinse it in lukewarm water.
How to Keep Good Dental Hygiene With Braces
When wearing braces, enhanced oral hygiene is a must. In fact, optimum oral hygiene is critical to prevent cavities and gum disease. Food particles and food debris get stuck in intricate spaces that form between teeth and braces and teeth and wires.
We brought you some steps we recommend you follow up on if you are a braces user and struggle with the many steps thing of the oral care routine.
Start with the last molar, advance tooth by tooth until reaching the last molar on the contralateral side.
Brush All Sides of the Tooth
In some cases, we recommend you use an electric toothbrush to facilitate the brushing process. However, you can use a regular brush and dedicate time to each tooth with circular motions.
Spend about three or four minutes brushing your teeth after each meal, especially before going to sleep.
Having braces means you cant floss with a regular flossing threader (string floss). We recommend our patients use an interdental flosser or a self-threading flosser that makes the routine much more accessible.
These handly flossers are special for tight spaces between the wire and the tooth and are formidable for dental care for people with braces.
You can complement your oral hygiene routine with an oral irrigator. The best part of an irrigator is that they make patients feel there are no more “hard-to-reach areas” left to clean. Water irrigators also help clean gaps between teeth.
An interdental brush is one of many oral care products with some characteristics. It has bristles in the contour that scrape between the interdental space between teeth. Interdental flossers or brushes have different sizes, so we recommend our braces patients ask the specialist about interdental brush sizes and get the correct size for their teeth. An interdental brush is optimal for cleaning teeth as part of a routine that includes regular brushing.
To properly utilize an interdental brush, follow these instructions:
- Once between teeth, move the interdental brush from the wire to the gums;
- Pass the brush from one tooth to another and along the archwire with frequent up and down movements;
- Rinse the appliance after using it, and;
- Replace the interdental brush if it starts to look worn.
At Markham Orthodontics, We Care About Your Dream Smile
Healthy teeth are the foundation for a beautiful smile. So, when we talk about your dream smile, it is essential to have adequate oral hygiene.
At Markham Orthodontics, we make a dental clearance and follow up about your teeth’ health throughout the entire orthodontic treatment.
Make a call, or visit us to set an appointment. We will be glad to help you get a beautiful and healthy smile.