Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene

Successful orthodontic treatment – a healthy and beautiful smile — is the result of a team effort among you, your orthodontist and your family dentist. You as the patient play the key part. Most importantly, you must keep your teeth clean and maintain good dental hygiene while you’re wearing braces. Right now, proper dental care will take a little extra time and effort. But it’s well worth it, and will help you enjoy the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment. Closely follow the instructions your orthodontist and staff members give you.


How to Brush?

Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, roundedbristle toothbrush that’s in good condition.  Because braces wear out a toothbrush quickly, replace your brush as soon as it shows signsof wear.

Brush around all the parts of your braces and every surface of your teeth — fronts, sides and backs. Be sure to brush your tongue and roof of the mouth.  A good way to tell if you’re brushing correctly is if your braces look clean and shiny and you can see the edges of the brackets clearly.

Brush your gums gently and thoroughly.

Rinse thoroughly after brushing.

Inspect your teeth and braces carefully to make sure they are spotless. Look closely in a well-lighted mirror. This is a good time to check for loose or broken brackets. If you find a problem, contact the orthodontist’s office to see if it needs to be checked out and if time needs to be scheduled to make a repair.


How to Floss?


Floss every night before you go to bed.  That way, you won’t feel rushed.

When flossing with braces on, it might be necessary to use what’s called a floss threader.  This reusable tool allows you to get dental floss underneath your archwire easily.

Make sure you clean carefully along and under the gumlines.

Flossing with braces on may seem like a difficult process, but it’s very important. And as with anything, a little practice will make it go a lot faster.


Other Hygiene Helpers

Your orthodontist or dentist may recommend one or more of these aids to help keep yourteeth clean:

Interproximal Brush: This tool slips under your archwire to more completely remove plaque and food particles near your brackets.

Prescriptioin Fluoride Toothpaste ORFluoride Rinse: Use once a day as part of your cleaning routine, if prescribed by your orthodontist. For the best results, use with your interproximal brush to deliver maximum fluoride protection to your teeth.

Power Toothbrush OR Water Irrigator:  These devices, such as the Sonicare toothbrush, are designed to make brushing easier and more efficient.

Information from the American Association of Orthdontics.