Good oral hygiene is always important, but it’s absolutely vital when you’re wearing braces. Braces provide nooks and crannies for debris and bacteria to hide, and without careful oral hygiene cavities can develop. We recommend that you brush your teeth three times a day and floss them once a day.
Brushing at least three times per day is important for keeping your teeth healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. To brush your teeth with braces, carefully angle the brush along the gum line, and move in a slow circular motion. Next, place the brush below the braces, angle against them, and repeat the same motion. Using the same circular brushing motion, position your toothbrush directly onto the braces, making sure that they are shiny and clean! Then brush the inside and chewing surface of the teeth. Remember, an electric toothbrush is proven to be more effective that a standard manual toothbrush. Ask us about how to use an electric toothbrush with braces!
Flossing should be done once per day. To floss with braces, try using a floss threader to help pull the floss through wires. Floss gently between the teeth, and along the sides of the teeth creating a “C” shape as you wrap the floss around the side of your tooth. Repeat for all teeth.
After brushing and flossing, we recommend carefully rinsing your mouth with water and a dental rinse, such as Cari-Free. This specific mouth rinse is designed to neutralize the pH level of your mouth, which reduces the amount of plaque and bacteria build up. Cari-Free will also help remineralize your teeth. It is best to let this mouth rinse sit on your teeth rather than rinsing with water afterwards.
Interdental toothbrushes are an invaluable oral hygiene tool when you have braces. These tiny dental brushes allow you to reach hard-to-get spots under and around wires and brackets. Carefully guide the interdental brush around your braces to avoid damage.
Once your braces are removed, you will need to wear a retainer. While your oral hygiene becomes easier without braces, there are still steps you need to take to ensure your teeth and retainer stay healthy.
Brush your retainer every morning when you remove it from your mouth. Retainers are generally worn to bed at night, however we will give you specific instructions to suit your individual needs. We recommend that you give it a light rinse before putting it back into your mouth. To freshen up your retainers, soak them in a glass of water with a denture-cleaning tablet.
Foods to Avoid
While braces have come a long way to be more comfortable and accommodating, there are still certain foods that we need you to avoid, as they can damage your braces. Hard or sticky foods such as toffee, gummy candies, popcorn, gum, nuts, and hard breads should also be avoided. Hard fruits and vegetables such as apples and carrots should be cut up into small pieces. Corn on the cobb can be cut off the cobb. It’s also best to reduce sugar consumption while you have your braces on. We all like to have a treat once in a while, just make sure that if you are wearing braces to spend extra time on a really thorough brush and floss after consuming foods that are high in sugar.
If you’re struggling to keep your teeth clean, contact us to found out about additional products that can help you. Remember— when you come for checkups or adjustments, our assistants will let you know how you are doing when it comes to dental hygiene. If you’re doing a good job, you will be rewarded!