Proper oral hygiene is one of the most important aspects of achieving a good result. The areas of the tooth underneath the braces are protected, but all uncovered areas are at risk. Although routine professional cleanings are necessary, daily care is even more pivotal so as not to see damage to the enamel surfaces. As your orthodontist in Melbourne, FL we recommend that patients brush at least twice per day for at least two minutes each time. Flossing and using fluoride rinse are also advocated nightly. We highly recommend waiting until hygiene has been proven to be excellent prior to starting braces. On the day of brace placement, we always thoroughly instruct patients on the proper techniques of brushing and flossing.
The most common areas to see hygiene problems are between the braces and the gums. Almost all patients do an adequate job cleaning the edges of the teeth, but plaque is often left along the gum-line. If plaque is routinely left in the same place, decalcifications can result. Decalcifications are basically the earliest stage of a cavity, where the minerals are beginning to be lost from the enamel surface. Most of the time, there is not a noticeable loss of tooth structure, but there is an irregular white mark left on the tooth. These marks are very unsightly and they usually do not improve much over time.