Oral Hygiene with Braces | College Station Orthodontist
When you have braces, it's imperative to have excellent hygiene. Brush and floss after each meal to keep your teeth and soft tissues healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.
Food particles can accumulate on teeth and braces and, over time, become plaque. The buildup of accumulated bacteria can lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loss of teeth. To avoid these problems, take special care of your teeth, gums, and braces by brushing and flossing daily.
- Soft-bristled, bi-level toothbrush (shorter middle bristles and longer side bristles)
- An interdental toothbrush
If you have questions about choosing the right type of toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please do not hesitate to ask us. Your College Station orthodontist and friendly dental team are happy to help you choose the right products for optimal oral health during your treatment.
BRUSHING WITH BRACES
Brush your teeth for at least two minutes after each meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Alternatively, you can use an electric toothbrush to increase the effectiveness of your brushing.
Brush your teeth' outside and inside surfaces using small, gentle, circular motions at a 45-degree angle. Doing this will reach food particles hiding under your gum line. Brush carefully, covering all areas between the teeth and braces. Click here to learn even more.
Brush the chewing surfaces of your molars and premolars and the inside surface of your front teeth by using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay special attention to the areas around your brackets and wires. Be sure to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Try not to swallow any toothpaste; rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after brushing.
Your College Station Orthodontist recommends brushing your teeth four times daily at least to avoid the accumulation of food particles. Take care of your oral hygiene:
- After breakfast
- After lunch
- After dinner
- At bedtime
You will need to replace your toothbrush more frequently during your treatment because your appliances wear down the bristles. As soon as the bristles start to fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one. Use an antibacterial mouthwash for optimal oral hygiene.
FLOSSING WITH BRACES
Flossing removes food particles and plaque from the hard-to-reach areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can't quite hit. When wearing braces, flossing takes more time and patience, but it is essential to floss your teeth daily.
Flossing after eating will help keep your teeth and metalwork clean, which, in turn, will also help keep your treatment time on track.
With a Floss Threader
To use a floss threader, wrap the ends around your pointer fingers, leaving a few inches of floss between both fingers. Slide the floss between each set of teeth using a gentle back-and-forth motion. You will know when the tooth is clean as you will hear the floss squeak against your clean teeth.
Use special care around your archwire and brackets. Do not forcefully floss or put too much pressure on them.
To remove plaque and food particles, floss down the sides of each tooth slightly beneath the gum line. Repeat this process with the rest of your teeth. Suppose your flossing is not removing all the food particles stuck between your teeth and around your braces. In that case, you may be interested in a water flosser! Click here to learn more.
Without a Floss Threader
Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser and wrap the two ends around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between your teeth down just under the gum line, pulling out any remaining food particles or plaque.
Unwrap a bit of clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that by the time you have finished, you have used the floss from beginning to end. Remember to floss behind all your back teeth.
When you first begin flossing daily, your gums may be tender and bleed a little. If the bleeding does not stop after the first few days of flossing, please inform your College Station orthodontist at your next appointment.