© Institute of Stomatology, Riga Stradins University

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Duties and responsibilities of the patient


The treatment will not be successful if the patient will not follow all the directions given by the orthodontist.


Maintaining good mouth hygiene

Keeping good mouth hygiene is especially important during an orthodontic treatment. Patient should brush teeth with a toothbrush using toothpaste after each meal. Patient should also floss teeth and use mouthwash containing fluoride at least once a day. A bad oral hygiene is a contraindication to the use of orthodontic equipment.


Risk factors in case mouth hygiene is not kept

The orthodontic appliances itself are not the reason for tooth caries or demineralization, but it induces the building up of plaque so hygiene during the time of orthodontic treatment is very important. Tooth plaque contains a lot of bacteria which produces acids and which further dissolves the tooth enamel. These bacteria produces acid from carbohydrates, especially the sugar, so it is recommended to reduce the frequency and amount of eating sugar and sweets. The damage done to enamel can be irreversible if the plaque is not removed every day.
A bad oral hygiene during the orthodontic treatment can cause a gum inflammation (gingivitis) that can change into a much more severe destruction of gums and bones (periodontitis).


Taking care about the appliances

The appliances have to be worn in the proper way as orthodontist prescribed otherwise the treatment will not go as planned. If a bracket comes off or the appliance gets deformed or breaks, an unwanted tooth movement may occur. This may happen during consumption of hard food (dried bread, carrots, nuts, hard candies, etc). In such cases patient has to contact the orthodontic clinic and arrange appointment as soon as possible.


Regular prescheduled visits
 
The appliances have to be corrected and activated periodically. The treatment has to be carefully monitored. The dismissal of visits makes the treatment longer. It has to be taken into account that sometimes the visit is only possible during the time when patient has to be at school or at work. During the orthodontic treatment patient has to continue visiting the dentist and the hygienist.