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 meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease.
Click on the boxes 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 a 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).
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 side 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.
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.
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.
You should avoid hard foods such as ice and pizza crust, as well as sticky foods, including licorice and caramels. These foods can damage wires and brackets. It is also important to minimize foods high in sugar content, like ice cream and cookies, and reduce sugary drinks to once a day.