Once you receive your braces, it is important that you maintain excellent oral hygiene throughout treatment, as your brackets, wires, bands, and retainers can easily trap food and make brushing and flossing more difficult. Careful, thorough oral care after each meal and snack is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and prevent plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Brushing with Braces
Brush your teeth four times a day to keep your braces and teeth clear of plaque and food particles:
- After breakfast
- After lunch or immediately after school
- After dinner
- Before bedtime
Flossing with Braces
Flossing with braces will take more time and require more patience, but it is very important. We encourage you to floss your teeth each night before bed.
Using a disposable floss threader, slide a small length of floss up and down along each tooth. Be careful when flossing around your archwire. Do not floss forcefully or with too much pressure.
Rinse with Antibacterial Mouthwash
A hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouthwash can help reduce inflammation to your cheeks and gums and prevent infection and irritation. Using two teaspoons of the mouthwash, rinse for one minute and then spit. You can use this mouth rinse up to four times a day after brushing your teeth. It can help heal mouth irritation, cheek bites, canker sores, and injuries to the gums.
Using an Interdental Toothbrush
You can use an interdental toothbrush around and underneath your braces and archwires. Brush gently to avoid damage to your wires.
A sodium fluoride gel can help prevent tooth decay during orthodontic treatment. It kills bacteria and replenishes minerals in the tooth enamel that have been affected by harmful acids. Fluoride should be applied following your daily bedtime oral care routine, and should not replace brushing or flossing. Apply a strip of gel to your toothbrush and brush it onto your teeth for one minute before spitting it out. Afterward, do not eat or drink for half an hour so that the gel is not washed away.
Cleaning Removable Appliances
Include your removable appliance in your regular oral care schedule by brushing it before or after you brush your teeth. We also encourage you to soak your appliance daily to remove food and plaque accumulation. You can dissolve a denture tablet in a glass of water and soak your appliance once a day.
When it comes to caring for your braces and ensuring oral hygiene throughout treatment, it is imperative to visit Wright Orthodontics, our orthodontic office in Batavia, Illinois. Dr. Randy Wright can sit down with you and discuss exactly what you can do for your orthodontic health. Please contact our orthodontist and team to make an appointment. We hope to hear from you soon!