Guest Blogger, Dr. Robert Gire
When your child is going through orthodontic treatment, it’s more important than ever to ensure they take proper care of their teeth and gums. But orthodontists know that it can sometimes be challenging, especially for adolescent patients, to properly brush and floss while wearing braces.
“I talk to patients and their parents all the time who are worried about their dental routine while wearing braces,” says Dr. Robert, a Chino Hills orthodontist. “If you don’t properly clean your teeth while wearing braces, food and plaque debris can remain and build-up over time, leaving an environment that makes the teeth more susceptible to decay.”
So what’s the best way to ensure your teeth stay clean and healthy throughout treatment? Dr. Gire recommends switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric one during your time in braces. Studies have shown that an electric toothbrush can do an overall better job at cleaning the teeth and removing signs of plaque build-up.
Because the brackets and wires of braces create nooks and crannies that can trap food particles, proper brushing is crucial during orthodontic treatment. Dental decay and gum disease can possibly prolong your child’s treatment times as they receive treatment from their dentist. Investing in a good electric toothbrush for your child can ensure their treatment stays on track.
Today’s electric toothbrushes are more efficient than ever at helping clean the teeth, and many have settings that help us improve our oral care. If you are worried your child may not be spending the amount of time needed to adequately clean their teeth, look for an electric toothbrush that has a timer and different intensity settings.
“For our patients who don’t brush long enough, or who brush incorrectly, we find that electric toothbrushes can help improve their hygiene routine,” says Dr. Gire. “Because the brush head moves on its own, it does more of the work to remove stains and plaque, while you simply guide it through the mouth.”
When purchasing an electric toothbrush, look for one with a small head and soft bristles. Your child should be brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, so if you are worried about the length of time he or she brushes, look for one with a built-in timer.
When purchasing a toothbrush, look for one that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal. This ensures that the toothbrush has been tested for safety and effectiveness, and will perform as promised.
“It’s also important that no matter what kind of brush your child is using, that it gets replaced more often during orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Gire. “The metal brackets and wires can wear down the brush bristles more quickly, so it’s a good idea to buy a new manual brush or electric brush head every 3-4 months or so during treatment.”
Electric toothbrushes can also come with attachments that can aid in your child’s cleaning, including special orthodontic tips that can better reach around the brackets of the braces.
It is also important to maintain all regular checkups with your child’s dentist during his or her orthodontic treatment. This will ensure any issues can be treated before a more serious problem occurs, which could alter treatment time.
If you have any questions about your child’s treatment or dental hygiene during treatment, the experts at Gire Orthodontics are always happy to help.
About Dr. Robert Gire
Dr. Robert Gire graduated from the University of Wyoming before attended the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. After graduating from dental school, Dr. Gire joined the United States Air Force Academy, where he received advanced education in general dentistry residency and served as a Captain and general dentist for four years. After completing his time in the Air Force, Dr. Gire then received a degree is orthodontics and masters of dental science from the University of Colorado School of Dentistry.
His extended training has given Dr. Gire a keen eye for creating beautiful and functional smiles. He understands the important role that teeth play in creating a harmonious face, and works hard to give his patients the smiles of their dreams. Additionally, Dr. Gire serves as an assistant pre-clinical lab instructor at the Ostrow USC School of Dentistry. At his private practice, Gire Orthodontics, Dr. Gire provides cutting edge orthodontic treatments to patients of all ages including kids, teens and adults. Gire Orthodontics offers all types of braces including Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, traditional metal braces, Damon braces, clear braces, self-ligating braces as well as lingual or behind-the-teeth braces. Dr. Gire has flexible hours and accepts most of the dental insurances.