Oral Hygiene

Now that you have your braces in place, it is just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of your treatment as it was before.

Braces, wires, bands and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease.

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Brushing

  • Step 1 Start with the outside of the teeth, with the brush at a straight angle. Use circular vibrating motions.
  • Step 2
    Clean the area between the gum and braces by angling the brush down (up from the lower jaw). Keep moving in a small circular motion.
  • Step 3
    Clean the rest of the outside of the teeth by angling the brush up (down for the lower jaw).
  • Step 4
    Carefully brush the chewing surface of both the upper and lower.
  • Step 5
    Finish by brushing the inside of the teeth.

 

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Flossing

  • Step 1
    Floss at least once a day. The floss needs to be pulled under the archwire. A floss threader facilitates this. Start by pulling floss through the threader.
  • Step 2
    Push the end of the floss threader under the archwire and pull the floss through.
  • Step 3
    Pull the floss up between the teeth and gently move it up and down the side of both teeth. Remember to move it up all the way under the gums.
  • Step 4
    Pull the floss out and continue the process between each of the teeth.

Rinsing

When you are finished brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth carefully with water or an antiseptic dental rinse.

An antiseptic dental rinse can help minor gum inflammations and irritations from orthodontic appliances. Also used to cleanse cancer sores, minor wounds, and gum irritations, this mouth rinse removes debris, enabling natural healing to occur.

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Interdental Toothbrush

An interdental toothbrush (proxabrush) is another aid that you might find useful in keeping your teeth, braces and gums clean and healthy. It can be used to clean under orthodontic wires and around braces.

Retainer Care

hill-orthodontics-03During the retention phase, it is important to brush your retainer every time that you brush your teeth as they can accumulate food particles and plaque.

Once a day, you should soak your appliance in a glass of room-temperature tap water with a denture-cleaning tablet, such as Polident or Efferdent. This will help prevent plaque build-up and oral infections and will keep your appliance tasting better. Do not use hot water as it can distort the appliance.

Dr. Matthew D. Hill is your orthodontic specialist, offering Invisalign, the Damon system, and self-ligating and clear braces for children, teens, and adults. Serving Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Fairview, Lucas, North DFW, Garland, Rowlett, Murphy, Sachse, Wylie, Plano, Richardson, Dallas, Mesquite, Sunnyvale and Collin county.