Brushing and flossing are the most important things that you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. In addition to preventing cavities, brushing and flossing stimulates the gums to keep them healthy and prevent gum disease. Cavities and periodontal disease can complicate your orthodontic treatment and lengthen your overall time in braces.
Dr. Shojaei and the Aurora Orthodontics team recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.
Brushing with Braces
Both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at cleaning teeth if you use proper technique and brush long enough. Overall, an electric toothbrush may make brushing easier, resulting in better plaque removal.
Brush your teeth for two minutes daily, or after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush the teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of the front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets.
Flossing with Braces
To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss under the wire. Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth.
- Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
- Clean the retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
- When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
- Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
- Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.