Brushing & Flossing
Proper oral hygiene is vital during orthodontic treatment. The required oral hygiene procedures during orthodontic treatment include brushing, flossing, and care of any removable appliances.
A proper hygiene regimen will result in a much better orthodontic outcome.
Dr. Bright recommends using a soft bristled toothbrush with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Using small, circular motions, completely clean each surface of every tooth, including the areas above, below, and between each bracket. of your braces.
Because of the appliances, your toothbrush will wear out faster and needs to be replaced whenever the bristles start to fray. We recommend that you brush after every meal and snack.
Having healthy gums and teeth also requires daily flossing. There are many “hard to reach” areas in your mouth that regular brushing can miss. Daily flossing is essential to your dental health and critical to a successful outcome of your orthodontic treatment. You may find it is necessary to use a floss threader to get the floss under the archwire of your braces. Using an interdental brush is easier than floss threading.
Using an Interdental Brush
An interdental toothbrush will help keep your teeth, gums, and braces cleaner. Because of its design, an interdental toothbrush can be used to clean under orthodontic wires and around braces. So using this little device actually makes your oral hygiene routine easier as well as more effective.
Check out the video at right for details on how to use and interdental brush. The video illustrates using the brush with and without braces.
Care of Your Orthodontic Appliances
Removable orthodontic appliances accumulate food particles and plaque, just as teeth do. Brush your removable appliance every time you brush your teeth.
When you do not replace your appliance back in your mouth after brushing and flossing, remember to put in a safe place away from pets and curious family members and guests. Putting it in a case or container in the same place in the same drawer each time you clean and store it is a good idea to ensure you do not lose your appliance. This will save you frustration, money, and loss of treatment time.
Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces
Types of foods to avoid while wearing braces include:
- Anything hard: popcorn, hard candy or brittle, chewing ice
- Sticky or chewy foods: caramel, taffy, gum, protein bars
- Acidic foods: oranges, lemons, sodas, vinegary foods like pickles
- Sugary foods: sweets, processed foods, sodas
While completely avoiding all these foods is not likely, it is important to brush and floss immediately after eating sticky, acidic, or sugary to avoid damaging the surfaces of your teeth or encouraging gum disease. But, it is very important not to bite down on hard foods while wearing braces.