Oral Hygiene

Now that your braces are in place it is very important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of your treatment. 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.

Brushing while Wearing Braces

brush3Especially during orthodontic treatment, brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After dinner
  • At bedtime

Flossing while Wearing Braces

floss2Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces but it is important to floss your teeth every day. We recommend flossing at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed.

Use a reusable floss threader to floss under your archwire. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the side of each tooth. Use care around your archwire and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much pressure on it.

Rinsing with an Antiseptic Mouthwash

rinseTo reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks we suggest using a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse. This rinse will help decrease irritation that may develop from your braces or for canker sores, ulcers, cheek bites and other minor injuries to the gums. (A sample of Peroxyl made by Colgate will be in the hygiene kit you will receive when braces are placed. You can purchase this product in stores)

Using an Interdental Toothbrush

interdentalAn interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush is used to clean underneath and around your archwires and braces. Please use the interdental toothbrush gently to avoid damaging your wires.

Topical Fluoride

brush1We recommend using a fluoride rinse to help prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces. This rinse replaces minerals in the tooth enamel that have been removed by harmful acids. The rinse should be used after brushing/flossing prior to bedtime. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes afterward. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes so do not wash it away by eating, drinking or rinsing. 

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

retainerBecause food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, brush any removable appliance each time you brush your teeth. You can also dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature and soak your appliance periodically.