Tips for brushing with braces:
Wondering how you can keep your teeth healthy during your orthodontic treatment? Here are a couple of tips to help you brush correctly, even with braces:
- Brush the braces and teeth first. Start brushing the outside surfaces of the teeth with braces in a back-and-forth motion, try to brush each tooth 10 times. Continue around the outside, then the inside and finally the tops of the teeth.
- Repeat this sequence, this time concentrating your brushing along the gum line (where the tooth and gum meet.) Brush in a small gentle circular motion, about ten times per tooth. Avoid hard scrubbing which can cause the gums to recede.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue!
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly.
Tips for flossing with braces:
- Fill the Water Flosser reservoir with lukewarm water and place it firmly on the base.
- Insert the flosser tip and click into the handle.
- Adjust the pressure control (start at low pressure), lean over the sink, and place the tip in your mouth.
- Turn the unit on. Close lips to prevent splashing, and let water flow from the mouth into the sink.
- Starting with the back teeth, aim the tip at the gumline. Pause and lightly brush the area between the teeth and all around the orthodontic bracket or appliance.
- Proceed to the next tooth and repeat.
Tips for excellent oral hygiene:
- Use fluoride-containing toothpaste when you brush.
- A soft-bristled brush is also recommended – change every three months.
- Continue to use all hygiene aids (such as water piks, electric toothbrushes, perioaids, proxy brushes, fluoride mouth rinses, etc.) that have been part of your regular routine. Remember, however, these cannot substitute for good brushing and flossing!
- A fluoride rinse may be prescribed if needed to help prevent cavities and decalcification(scarring of the teeth).
- Use a timer or watch to measure your brushing time. A minimum of two minutes is needed to brush correctly.
- Use waxed floss to help prevent fraying. A floss threader or Super floss (threader attached) is helpful in flossing under orthodontic wires.
- Floss, brushes, Super floss, mouth rinses, auxiliary aids, etc. are all available at the local drug store or supermarket. Keep a supply on hand at home, work, school or when you travel so you may clean your teeth after every meal.
- Maintain regular three to six-month checkups with your family dentist throughout your orthodontic treatment.
- Avoid eating hard foods such as ice, popcorn, nuts, spare ribs or corn chips. If you eat hard fruit, vegetables or french bread, it’s a good idea to cut them into bite-sized pieces first.
- Avoid sticky foods and foods high in added sugar such as caramel, bubble gum, taffy, gummy bears, now and laters, etc.
- Whenever you have something sweet, brush your teeth and braces immediately afterward. Don’t wait!