According to a study published in September’10 by the prestigious American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, the use of a modified brushing technique significantly reduced the incidence of new carious lesions in orthodontic patients when compared to routine oral hygiene instructions with fluoride toothpaste.
The study titled “Modified fluoride toothpaste technique reduces caries in orthodontic patients: A longitudinal, randomized clinical trial” followed 100 orthodontic patients randomly divided into 2 groups. Each patient was examined before starting orthodontic treatment (baseline) and shortly after removal of the appliances in a 2-year study period. The test group patients were instructed to use the modified brushing technique while the control group patients were given routine clinical oral hygiene instructions.
The modified brushing technique that was more effective in preventing caries in orthodontic patients than normal oral hygiene instructions consists of the following steps:
(1) use ¾ of one inch of toothpaste on a wet toothbrush;
(2) spread the toothpaste evenly on both upper and lower teeth;
(3) brush all surfaces of the teeth for 2 minutes;
(4) use a small amount of water, the equivalent of a handful with the dentifrice remaining in the mouth and filter the dentifrice slurry between the teeth by active cheek movements for 30 seconds before expectorating;
(5) avoid further rinsing with water;
(6) avoid drinking or eating for 2 hours;
(7) brush twice a day, after breakfast and at night before going to bed.
Compared with other dental specialists, orthodontists have a great opportunity to emphasize fluoride toothpaste regimens since patients usually visit the clinic every few weeks, giving the orthodontist an excellent opportunity to stress the importance of using fluoride toothpaste and. Although this technique is highly efficient, patients must be aware that slurry rinsing with the toothpaste can cause some oral discomfort and irritation of the oral mucosa. Also, the use of dental floss lessens the risk of dental cavities between the teeth during orthodontic treatment.
In my website you will find a section especially dedicated to how to maintain good and proper oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment, including brushing techniques and how to use dental floss appropriately. http://www.larchmontortho.com/PatientInfo/OralHygiene/tabid/74/Default.aspx