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 Mouthwash
To reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks, we suggest using products such as Listerine or Crest Pro Health, products that fight gingivitis. Keeping gingivitis under control is super important as swollen, puffy gums can come on quickly with braces. It is important to be very diligent with gum care. It is even helpful to pour a bit in a medicine cup and actually brush along the gum line. Doing this multiple times each day can make a huge difference in gingival health. There are also products like Peroxyl that help heal mouth sores or scrapes inside your mouth. Rinsing with warm salt water helps with mouth sores as well and if needed, Dr. Shaw can call in a prescription.
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.
We recommend using a sodium fluoride tooth paste to help prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces. We can provide a prescription strength fluoride tooth paste for our patients who may benefit from the additional help the prescription provides. Decalcifications can quickly occur on teeth that do not have the plaque removed consistently and topical fluoride helps protect against this. Products such as ACT fluoride rinse can make a huge difference.