Protecting Your Braces
Your braces will do wonders for your smile and oral health, but you should know that taking care of your teeth will become more difficult once you receive your braces. Brackets and wires have lots of spaces to trap food, which causes bacteria and plaque to form. Therefore, you must take extra care to brush your teeth after every meal (including snacks) and floss at least once a day.
How to Brush and Floss With Braces
You will need to clean your teeth carefully and thoroughly when you have braces. Here's a procedure we recommend for brushing and flossing each day.
Preparing to Brush
Remove the elastics and any removable parts of the orthodontic appliance.
Clean Your Braces
Position your brush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the brackets and wires. Brush each wire from top to bottom. Work your way around your upper and lower teeth, making sure to remove all plaque and debris.
Brush Your Teeth
After you've brushed your braces, brush each tooth. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle and move it in a circular motion, applying gentle pressure. Do this for about 10 seconds on each tooth - be sure not to miss the inner surfaces. Tilt the brush to reach the inside areas of the smaller teeth in the front.
Floss Your Teeth
You should floss your teeth once per day. Dr. James will show you the best way to floss with your braces. She will also give you a flossing product like a floss threader for orthodontic products.
Rinse and Examine Your Teeth
When you're done, thoroughly rinse out your mouth with water or mouthwash and check them in the mirror to ensure no food debris remains. A thorough inspection of your teeth is key.
Regular Orthodontic and Dental Visits
You will need to come to our office for periodic visits so Dr. James can examine your braces to make sure they're working properly and to make adjustments. You might feel some tightness or slight discomfort after any of these adjustments, but if it doesn't go away right away, contact us. Also contact us right away if you have any other concerns, such as broken parts.
During orthodontic treatment, you will also continue to have regular appointments with your general dentist so they can catch any cavities or symptoms of gum disease. Your dentist may also perform fluoride treatments, which protect the surfaces of your teeth from decay.
Recommended Oral Care Products
Cleaning your teeth is challenging when you have traditional braces, making it all the more important to understand oral hygiene and the dental problems you may face. Fortunately, a wide variety of oral care products are available to help you keep your teeth clean. We provide several of these items to our patients for free, but you can buy others at your local drugstore. Products we recommend include Sonicare Electric Toothbrushes, which are made specifically for braces, and prescription strength toothpastes containing fluoride that kill germs in the spaces between brackets.
For more information, please contact our office: (267) 703-7877.