Oral Hygiene

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Now that your braces are in place, it is very important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of your treatment. Braces, wires, bands and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease.

Brushing while Wearing Braces

Especially during orthodontic treatment, brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After dinner
  • At bedtime

Flossing while Wearing Braces

Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day. We recommend flossing at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed.

Use a reusable floss threader to floss under your archwire. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader, and                                             slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. Use care around                                       your archwire, and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much                           pressure on it.

Rinsing with an Antibacterial Mouthwash

To reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks, we suggest using an antiseptic mouth rinse. This rinse will help prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. Rinsing your mouth each time you brush can clear debris from hard to brush areas and help the inside of your mouth heal. Additionally, it can be used for general irritation caused by your braces, canker sores, cheek bites and other minor injuries to the gums.

Using an Interdental Toothbrush

An interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush is used to clean underneath and around your archwires and braces. Please use the interdental toothbrush gently to avoid damaging your wires.

Topical Fluoride

During treatment, we may recommend using a sodium fluoride gel or varnish to help prevent tooth decay or decalcification (white staining) while you are wearing braces. This gel kills bacteria and replaces minerals in the tooth enamel that have been removed by harmful acids. Some gels can be found in stores, while others must be prescribed by the doctor. Using a fluoride gel does not replace daily brushing and flossing, but it should be applied at bedtime                                     following your regular brushing schedule. 

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

Brush your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak the appliance daily. Dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature, and soak your appliance once a day.