Brushing and flossing regularly and thoroughly is more important than ever when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment.
Braces, wires, elastics, springs, and other orthodontic appliances can cause food and plaque to build up. If this isn;t clean off regularly, it can stain or damage your teeth.
If you don't keep your teeth clean, you may need to visit the dentist more frequently for professional cleaning. If you have a history of gum disease, you should see a periodontist regularly during your orthodontic treatment.
We suggest you brush after every meal or snack with a fluoride toothpaste in order to remove any food that may have gotten caught in your braces.
We will also sometimes prescribe a fluoride mouthwash, which can help clean places in your mouth that your toothbrush can't reach. A airflosser or waterpik can also help to flush out food particles.
Use a normal, soft toothbrush to brush your teeth and braces. Brush up from the bottom and then down from the top for each tooth.
Next, brush your teeth with a proxabrush or "Christmas tree" brush. This brush is designed specifically to clean out the spaces between braces.
Begin by brushing the outside of each tooth at least 10 times. Next, brush at the point where your gums and teeth meet, using a circular motion.
Brush the inside surface of each tooth at least 10 times, as well. Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth last.
Until you get the hang of it, flossing while wearing braces can be a little tricky.
Feed the the floss through the space between the main arch wire and the portion of the tooth closest to the gum.
Use a gentle back and forth sawing motion to move the floss up and down each side of each tooth. Be careful not to pull too hard around the arch wire.
You should be brushing and flossing at least three times a day - once at breakfast, once at lunch and one more time before you go to bed.
If you can't brush after each meal, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water, and NEVER skip brushing at night before you go to bed.
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