After you have your braces in place, 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.
Prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay by carefully brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack.
- Start with the outside of the teeth with the brush at a straight angle. Use circular, vibrating motions.
- Clean the area between the gums and braces by angling the brush down (up for the lower jaw). Keep moving in a small, circular motion.
- Clean the rest of the outside of the teeth by angling the brush up (down for the lower jaw).
- Brush the chewing surface of both the upper and lower jaw carefully.
- Finish by brushing the inside of the teeth
A Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you can use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Use the Proxabrush gently to avoid damaging your wires. The Proxabrush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Floss at least once a day by pulling the floss under the archwire.
- Start by pulling the floss through the threader.
- Push the end of the floss threader under the archwire and pull the floss through.
- Pull the floss up between the teeth and gently move it up and down the side of both teeth. Remember to move it all the way under the gums.
- Pull the floss out and use a different section of it for the next tooth.
After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth carefully with water or an antiseptic dental rinse. This can help minor gum inflammations and irritations from orthodontic appliances.
Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, reduces inflammation to your gums and cheeks. Peroxyl helps prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces.
Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of Peroxyl (half a capful) for one minute, and then spit it out. You can use Peroxyl up to four times daily following your schedule for brushing: after meals (or after school) and before bed.
Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, Peroxyl helps the inside of your mouth heal. Use it for general irritation caused by your braces, canker sores, cheek bites and other minor, temporary injuries to the gums.
Phos-Flur is a sodium fluoride gel that helps prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids.
Using Phos-Flur does not replace daily brushing and flossing but should be done following your daily schedule at bedtime.
Place a small strip of Phos-Flur on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute, and then spit it out. You cannot eat or drink for 30 minutes afterwards to keep from washing it away.
Cleaning Your Removable Appliance
Brush your removable appliance, including retainers, every day as part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, so soak the appliance daily.
Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature, and soak your appliance once every day. It will taste better, and you will prevent plaque and bacteria from accumulating.
Your teeth may be a little sore for the first week in braces, so we recommend sticking to soft foods until the discomfort subsides. You can still eat most foods, but avoid hard foods, such as ice and pizza crust, and sticky foods, such as licorice and caramels.