When you have braces, it's very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.
Brushing with Braces
Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and 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 surface 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 time 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, leaving 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!
- Brush after every meal – at least 3 times a day. If brushing is not possible, rinse well with water until you are able to brush.
- Brush teeth with a small-headed toothbrush or a Sonicare electric toothbrush. These are best to clean around the bracket and gum line.
- Brush for at least 2-3 minutes.
- After thorough brushing, be sure to lift your lips and look closely in a mirror around the gum line for any remaining food.
- Flossing can be quite time consuming during orthodontic treatment, but it is important to floss a minimum of 3 times a week.
- Daily use of a fluoride rinse will help prevent these unsightly spots if used after teeth are properly cleaned. We provide a fluoride treatment for you at the beginning of treatment. We have additional bottles available for purchase if needed.
Other Helpful Information:
- Gums that bleed or swell have not been thoroughly brushed. Be sure to brush well at the gum line above the brackets on the top arch and below the brackets on the bottom arch. Bleeding gums will improve with diligent brushing.
- We have special tablets at the office that we are happy to provide you. These colored tablets dissolve in the mouth and color any food debris remaining on the teeth. Please let us know if you would like some.
- We also offer a toothpaste available for purchase that colors food debris remaining on the teeth. Once the debris is brushed off, the color goes away. Please let us know if you would like more information.
- Maintaining 6-month cleaning appointments with your general dentist is a MUST. We suggest discussing 3-month cleanings with your dentist if brushing continues to be a challenge.
- Limit Soda and Candy- Teens seem to be able to exist on a steady diet of soda, chips and candy, but those kinds of treats can wreak havoc on teeth