The best way to ensure a beatiful smile is to take excellent care of your teeth. When you leave food particles on your teeth and in your braces, they can form plaque. Normal bacteria in your mouth can produce acid from the plaque which can lead to gum swelling or gum disease, tooth decay, or decalcification (permanent white spots) on your teeth.
When you have braces, it’s crucial to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. We recommend a soft toothbrush, unwaxed dental floss, and a toothpaste that contains flouride. Please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliances.
Brushing with Braces
It is wise to brush your teeth for two to three minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness.
Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.
Flossing with Braces
Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment schedule on track. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, but leave a few inches of taut floss between them.
Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth.
If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!