Now that you have your braces in place, it is just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of your treatment as it was before. 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. Click on the buttons below to learn more about how to continue a proper oral hygiene routine while in braces.
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 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).
Carefully brush the chewing surface of both the upper and lower jaw.
Finish by brushing the inside of the teeth.
Floss at least once a day. The floss needs to be pulled under the archwire. A floss threader facilitates this.
Start by pulling 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 sides of both teeth. Remember to move it up all the way under the gums.
Pull the floss out and use a different section of it for the next tooth.
When you are finished brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth carefully with water or an antiseptic dental rinse. An antiseptic dental rinse can help minor gum inflammations and irritations from orthodontic appliances. Also used to cleanse canker sores, minor wounds and other mouth and gum irritations, this mouth rinse removes debris, enabling natural healing to occur.
A Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your orthodontic 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.
During the retention phase, it is important to brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth, as they can accumulate food particles and plaque just as your teeth do. Once a day, you should soak your appliance in a glass of room-temperature tap water with a denture-cleaning tablet, such as Polident or Efferdent. This will help prevent plaque build-up and oral infections and will keep your appliance tasting better. Do not use hot water, as it can distort the appliance.
Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks. Peroxyl helps to 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 may 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. Peroxyl can be used for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor temporary injuries to the gums.