Oral Hygiene While Wearing Braces

Our orthodontic treatment is an important investment in your oral health and your future. Dr. Phillips and his staff wants you to have the best results possible so we’re reminding you that it’s very important that you take good care of your teeth and gums during your orthodontic treatment.

Because your braces consist of brackets and wires, there are many nooks and crannies present that can easily trap food and plaque. This increases your risk of developing tooth decay and gum problems. Therefore, it’s essential that you do everything you can to maintain good oral hygiene throughout the treatment process.

More Care Needed When Wearing Braces

It’s important that you are extra diligent when cleaning your teeth every day while wearing braces. While you’re wearing braces, there are areas around your brackets that can begin to lose minerals wherein white spots are visible. These white spots are early signs of tooth decay so it’s important to brush your teeth gently yet thoroughly including the areas around your brackets and wires. It’s also important that you continue seeing your family dentist during orthodontic treatment for checkups and cleanings as doing so can greatly reduce the chances of you developing tooth decay or gum disease while you’re in braces.

Eat Braces-Friendly Foods

Some foods you eat when you’re wearing braces can break or bend your wires and bands. This is why you should avoid eating hard foods like nuts and hard-crusted breads. You can still enjoy firm, fresh vegetables if you chop them into small pieces so they won’t put stress on your braces. You should avoid eating sticky foods like caramels, fruit bars and toffees and never chew on ice or use chewing gum.

Brushing with Braces

Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. When brushing your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Holding the toothbrush at an angle, brush gently, slowly and carefully so that you cover all areas between teeth, between your brackets and wires and the surface of each tooth. It will take you a bit longer to brush your teeth when you’re wearing braces. However, the little extra time you spend brushing your teeth well will pay off in the end as you’ll have a healthy mouth and a straight & beautiful smile when your braces come off after treatment is completed!

Your should brush your teeth 4 times a day: In the morning after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, after dinner and at bedtime. When you finish brushing your teeth each time, rinse your mouth out thoroughly with water.

Flossing with Braces

Using the reusable floss threader we gave you, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. You’ll feel when the tooth is clean and will hear the ‘squeak’ of the floss against your clean teeth. Take care when flossing around your archwire, being sure not to put too much force or pressure on it. Once you’ve flossed between your archwire and braces, floss between your other teeth ad gums.

If you’re flossing without the floss threader, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss around your middle fingers. Then, guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line to remove food particles and plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you proceed so you end up using all the floss when you’re done. Finish by flossing behind all your back teeth.

If you have any questions about maintaining good oral hygiene when wearing braces, don’t hesitate to give our Reno and Sparks, NV orthodontist office a call during regular office hours. We’re always available to speak with you and are more than happy to answer.