Daily oral hygiene is critical to maintaining healthy teeth and gums during orthodontic treatment. You will notice that it requires more effort to keep your teeth clean with orthodontic appliances in place. Food may become trapped around your brackets and between your teeth and can only be removed by brushing and flossing. Plaque remaining on the teeth due to poor hygiene may cause swelling of the gums, cavities, and white scars on the tooth surface.
Brushing after meals should become part of your daily oral hygiene. Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure and brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth; brush in small circles above and below the brackets. Your toothbrush will wear out more rapidly because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it when the bristles start to fray. A mechanical or ultrasonic toothbrush are popular options with many of our patients and can be used effectively without damaging your orthodontic appliances. Flossing is critical for cleaning between the teeth and should be done every day. Many flossing aids have been designed for assistance while flossing with braces. We will review hygiene with you at your regular visits and provide you with tips on taking care of your teeth while in orthodontic treatment. Finally, every patient with cemented appliances should be using a daily prescription strength fluoride rinse.
- Brush after every meal.
- Use a toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste.
- Use circular, vibrating motions around the gumline for about 10 seconds on each tooth.
- Brush every tooth slowly.
- Brush the lower teeth up and the upper teeth down. Also brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
- Floss nightly after brushing to remove the plaque missed by brushing.
- Carefully pull waxed floss between wire and braces.
- Floss carefully around the braces.
- Floss carefully around the gum area.
- Floss around each tooth.