When to Clean:
- Brush thoroughly
at least four times a day: after every meal and before you go
- If you can't
brush right away after a meal, be sure to at least rinse your
mouth well with water until you can brush. That way, you'll clear
your braces of most of the large food particles. A travel toothbrush
is a great way to make brushing more convenient when you're at
school or work.
- At least
once every day, brush your teeth and braces thoroughly until they
are spotlessly clean, and then floss. This takes a little extra
time, so you may want to do it at night before going to bed so
you don't feel rushed.
- Use a fluoride
toothpaste and a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush that's in good
condition. Because braces wear out a toothbrush quickly, replace
your brush as soon as it shows signs of wear.
- Brush your
teeth and braces the way your orthodontist and staff members instruct
- Brush around
all the parts of your braces and every surface of your teeth.
Remember to brush the backsides of your teeth, and be sure to
brush your tongue. Doing this will not only help to remove food
particles from your mouth, it will make your breath fresher, too.
- Brush your
gums gently and thoroughly.
- Rinse thoroughly
after brushing. Swish the water all around your mouth and teeth.
- Inspect your
teeth and braces carefully to make sure they are spotless. Look
closely in a well-lighted mirror.
We may recommend
the use of a "disclosing rinse" that will help you see
any places you may have missed with your toothbrush. You may have
to brush and rinse two or three times before all the plaque is gone.
This may sound difficult, but it's very important. Remember: they
are your teeth, and to keep them for the rest of your life you need
to take good care of them! A healthy, beautiful smile is worth
How to Floss:
one of the most important parts of taking care of your teeth during
your orthodontic treatment. To practice good flossing technique,
follow these simple directions:
- When flossing
with braces on, it might be necessary to use what's called a floss
threader. This reusable tool allows you to get dental floss underneath
your archwire easily.
- Cut off about
18 inches of floss and loop it through your threader, run the
threader under your archwire between two brackets, and, holding
one end of the floss, gently pull the threader off.
- Loop the
ends of the floss around your index fingers, forming a "C,"
and gently floss between your teeth as you normally would. Make
sure to carefully clean along your gumline on both sides. When
finished between two teeth, just pull the floss through, re-thread
the floss through the loop, and repeat the process between your
next pair of teeth.
It's a good
idea to get into the habit of flossing at night before you go to
bed. That way, you won't feel as rushed and will take your time.
Flossing with braces on may seem like a difficult process, but it's
very important. And as with anything, a little practice will make
it go a lot faster.
dentist or dental hygienist will probably recommend some of the
following aids to help keep your teeth clean. If you have any questions
about how to use them, don't be shy. Ask the orthodontist, assistant
or hygienist to explain them to you.
This tool is designed to slip under your archwire to more completely
remove plaque and food particles near your brackets.
fluoride toothpaste or fluoride rinse.
Use once a day as part of your cleaning routine, if prescribed.
For the best results, use it with your interproximal brush to deliver
maximum fluoride protection to your teeth. We may also recommend
an over-the-counter fluoride rinse.
toothbrush or water irrigator.
These devices are designed to make brushing easier and more efficient.
Ask us if they'd be helpful during your treatment.
New techniques and technologies are constantly being developed
to help improve results from orthodontic treatment. Ask us if any
new products will help you with your daily dental hygiene.
Bad Oral Hygiene Can Cause During Treatment.
hygiene is a very important part of your orthodontic treatment.
Without it, food tends to become trapped in and around your braces,
encouraging the accumulation of plaque, a colorless film of bacteria.
The bacteria in plaque react with the sugars and starches in food
and form an acid that can eat away the enamel on your teeth, leading
you allow plaque to accumulate around your braces, it can leave
permanent stains on your teeth when your braces are removed. This
damage is called decalcification and these lines and spots will
remain on your teeth for life.
disease, caused by the buildup of plaque, occurs in three stages.
In the first stage, the plaque accumulation irritates the gums around
your teeth, leading to bleeding and swelling. This first stage is
time, this plaque buildup may harden into a substance called tartar.
As tartar accumulates, a condition called periodontitis will develop,
causing a gap to form between your gums and teeth where even more
tartar can accumulate.
the last stage, or advanced periodontitis, pockets of bacteria form
and deepen beneath your gums, attacking and destroying the bone
that anchors your teeth, and making even healthy teeth loosen and
eventually fall out.
scary as these conditions are, the simple truth is that they're
all easily avoidable. By brushing and flossing regularly, you'll
keep your teeth and gums in top condition and ensure that your orthodontic
treatment will deliver the healthiest smile possible in the shortest
period of time.
Want a Great
Smile? Check Yourself.
Today have you:
- Removed every
trace of plaque and trapped food from all the surfaces of your
teeth-fronts, backs, tops and under your wires?
- Paid very
close attention to brushing at the gum line?
- Used dental
floss, special brushes, mouthwashes and fluoride mouth rinse as
recommended by your orthodontist or dentist?
- Rinsed thoroughly
your teeth and braces to make sure they're spotless?
Take good care
of your teeth and braces. Then, when your braces come off, you'll
see that your extra efforts have been rewarded with a healthy, great-looking
smile that's good for life.