Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean to prevent dental problems. Poor oral hygiene can result in any of the following conditions:
- Dental cavities
- Periodontal diseases
- Bad breath (halitosis)
The cause of poor oral hygiene is usually the patient's failure to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as regular brushing and flossing of teeth to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth.
Some foods (sugars and acidic foods) and habits (such as smoking) can also result in poor oral hygiene and dental diseases.
We do not recommend starting orthodontic treatment on patients with poor oral hygiene until their periodontal issues have been improved and restored to a healthy state.
Orthodontic tooth movement involves complex biological mechanisms of bone and soft tissue remodeling, inflammation and healing. These complex processes may be disrupted by poor oral hygiene resulting in harm to the patient with the complications of: decalcification, caries, recession, gingival inflammation and periodontal disease.
In the presence of poor oral hygiene tooth movement takes longer, is less predictable and may be less stable. For these reasons, good oral hygiene is essential for successful and efficient orthodontic tooth movement.