Cleaner mouth = Better braces

In a recent study released by the Oral Health Journal, a systematic evaluation of patient oral hygiene for orthodontic patients has revealed stunning information that links poor patient oral hygiene with impacted orthodontic treatment quality and treatment times.

When a person seeks out orthodontic treatment to fix a problem (crooked teeth, a misaligned bite, etc…), he or she must realize that the bone is actually being remodeled. Orthodontic treatment rearrange teeth into a proper alignment, which pressure transfer to the roots of the teeth within the jawbone. Bone is actually lost and added during this process as the teeth are repositioned to their proper places as reaching the treatment goal.

 

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Poor oral hygiene will influence your tooth and gum structures negatively. The progress of orthodontic treatment consist of inflammatory and regenerative responses. A mouth with plaque and tartar build-up will trigger the body’s inflammatory response, amplifying the already inflamed structures associated with orthodontic treatment and can lead to a prolonged inflammatory stage and a delayed regenerative phase within orthodontic treatment. Poor oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment can and will have a damaging affect on your treatment goals as well. Reports have shown that “poor oral hygiene can increase treatment times from 1.2 to 2.2 months – other consequences of poor oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment affect the quality of the end result of treatment.” Whereas standard orthodontic treatment (in a clean mouth) leads to the balanced loss and gain of bone, poor oral hygiene restricts the ability of new bone to grow, affecting the treatment results.

 

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Orthodontic treatment seeks to improve a patient’s oral health, but what every patient must remember is that a treatment plan can only be fully realized if both the doctor and the patient are making concerted efforts to correct a problem and stick with a course of action. A patient’s oral health cannot improve without patient compliance. If a patient sees his or her orthodontic specialist (or physician or dentist) on a regular basis but does not fulfill his or her duties to maintain a clean and healthy oral environment, no improvement will ever be seen. A doctor and a patient must work together to obtain a successful result.

Remember that your dental professional may be a miracle worker, but that does not retract your obligation to maintain proper oral hygiene (or any other instructed daily routines)! Any orthodontic treatment plan is a dual-sided plan that requires dedication from both the physician and the patient. Without proper compliance from the patient, prolonged treatment time and reduced oral improvement will result.