Oral Hygiene

Once you receive your orthodontic appliances, you need to be particularly careful about your oral hygiene. Braces provide a great environment for trapping and hiding food particles and make it difficult to brush away plaque, which is the layer of harmful bacteria that attack your teeth and gums.

Steps to a Clean Smile

1.BRUSHING: Brushing within five minutes of every meal or snack is the only way to prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay. When you’re not at home, it is a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush kit. Keeping a toothbrush or travelbrush in your locker during the school year is a must! Brush at least three times a day with a soft bristle toothbrush. Using the new battery-operated toothbrushes like Sonicare and Oral-B & Crest Spinbrushes can be especially helpful in keeping your braces and teeth free of plaque and bacteria.

2. FLOSSING: Brushing alone won’t keep your teeth entirely free of plaque since a brush can’t clean between your teeth. Flossing once a day above and below the wire that goes between your braces is very important. This is not always easy, so using floss threaders or a special kind of floss called “Superfloss” is very helpful.
We will help you with flossing at your first visit & you can always refer to the bathroom mirror brushing guide in your starting kit.

3. FLUORIDE RINSE OR GEL: We encourage the daily use of a fluoride rinse or gel if signs of poor hygiene begin to show. Using these fluoride supplements after thorough brushing provides important additional protection with its flooding action, including areas which are difficult for patients to keep clean. The best time of day for this fluoride application is after brushing prior to bedtime; that way the fluoride can provide protection while you sleep.

4. ROUTINE DENTAL CLEANINGS: Even though we recommend that you visit your dentist for cleanings every six months; more frequent cleanings spaced 3-4 months apart are more ideal for our patients with braces due to the increased risks from trapped food particles and plaque.

CONSEQUENCES: Poor oral hygiene can cause permanent problems that will persist even when your braces are removed. Decay, Decalcification (white spots), and Permanent stains are consequences of infrequent or improper brushing and flossing. You also need to check for loose bands or brackets often – these problems could also enhance the chance of getting decay or staining.