There are over four million people in North America who are currently in the care of an orthodontic specialist. As a dental hygienist, you’ll surely come across a lot of patients wearing braces and looking forward to a more beautiful smile and more confident outlook on life. Maintaining a good level of hygiene while wearing braces in very important, as braces make patients more susceptible to tooth decay and poor oral hygiene. As a dental hygienist you’ll have to not only know how to work well with patients who have braces, but also how to advise patients about proper cleaning and hygiene measures that will make sure their mouths stay squeaky clean.
Read on to discover three tips that will help you work with patients with braces in your dental hygienist career.
1. After Dental Hygienist Training Make Sure to Encourage Regular Cleaning For Patients
When clients have braces, extra care and more frequent visits to the dentist are even more important. Regular visits aren’t just about making patient’s teeth look pretty, it’s about making sure that dental health problems like the accumulation of gingivitis and tartar don’t happen. When braces are stuck onto teeth, they can often get food accumulated round them. Over time and with the help of the mouth’s saliva, this food will be broken down and become tartar and perhaps even gingivitis. Essentially, those who wear braces are more prone to poor oral hygiene than non-brace wearers. After graduating from dental hygienist schoolA�and moving into your rewarding career, make sure to advise clients that not getting regular oral hygiene checkups can actually lead to a longer time spent wearing braces!
2. After Dental Hygienist School Make Sure to Encourage Regular Rinsing and Brushing
When speaking with patients as a dental hygienist, don’t forget to promote the usefulness of regular rinsing and brushing. Patients with braces should be rinsing and brushing more often than those who do not have braces. Advise patients to rinse their mouth with water to loosen food about four times a day, or ideally after every meal.
Brushing is also a huge part of an effective oral hygiene routine. Food can easily become lodged in braces, so brushing after each and every meal is crucial so that pockets of tartar do not form. Dental hygienists can use various hand-held tools like scrapers and curettes in order to get to those hard-to-reach places in the mouth and help scrape away plaque and tartar during visits. You’ll learn methods for using these tools in dental hygienist training.
3. Pros With Dental Hygienist Training Remind Patients on the Importance of Regular Flossing
The importance of flossing becomes much more pronounced when your patient has braces. Flossing helps to get pieces of food loose from in between teeth, but can be made difficult with braces. Some experts say that flossing with braces takes about three times as long as flossing without braces, so give your brace wearing patients a heads up that they should allot a lot of time for their flossing routine.
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