Patients wearing braces need to be ever vigilant when it comes to keeping their braces, teeth and gums clean. By following your orthodontist’s instructions on oral hygiene and avoiding certain foods, you can maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. Plaque is your enemy. If plaque is left on your teeth, around the braces, you can develop swollen gums, bad breath, scarred & discolored teeth, even cavities. Click on the buttons below to learn the ins and outs of oral hygiene and braces!
Retainers, just like your teeth collect plaque, bacteria and food particles. You should clean your retainer everyday! Keep your retainer soaking when it is not in your mouth. Use a mouthwash rinse to freshen it up and keep it free of bacteria. Keep your retainer away from heat; the plastic can crack if it gets too dry or too hot. Try not to bend the wires; flipping your retainer in your mouth can do this.
Patients should avoid foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. They should also avoid any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals.
The foods below are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances and are examples of what NOT to eat:
Now that you have braces, your teeth are more difficult to clean, so you have to be very careful to keep those new braces clean. You should brush your teeth properly after every meal and snack. Always keep your toothbrush handy, you should even be brushing at school or work after lunch. You will also need to replace your toothbrush more often, since the braces will make it wear out quicker. The steps below are how to properly brush your new braces.
Flossing with braces is a bit on the tricky side, so it takes a few minutes to perfect. But don’t give up, flossing is very important to the health of your teeth. The steps below are how to properly floss with your new braces.
The interdental brush is especially good in cleaning the tooth surface next to the braces.
The water jet is an effective tool to remove plaque and debris lodged deep between teeth and around braces. The water jet shoots a pulsing stream of water that dislodges remaining food particles. Adding an antiseptic dental rinse to the water is recommended. Use the water jet after your regular brushing and flossing routine.
An antiseptic dental rinse (Peroxyl) should be used after every meal (at least 4 times a day) to control minor gum inflammation and irritations that might arise from orthodontic treatment.
A fluoride rinse that helps prevent tooth decay by killing harmful bacteria and replenishing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. Rinsing does not replace brushing. You should rinse after brushing and flossing.