You now have your braces and have been given specific care instructions to ensure the overall success of your treatment. Below are a few important tips to keep your smile beautiful and healthy and your braces working efficiently.
Brushing & Flossing/Oral Hygiene Care
Your braces and teeth will naturally collect food as you eat and if that food isn’t removed your teeth may be harmed by plaque buildup. These bacteria could lead to cavities and even gum disease. These problems can prevent your teeth from moving as easily and may cause pain and discomfort throughout your orthodontic treatment.
It is vitally important for you take special care of your teeth, gums and braces. Practicing good brushing and flossing techniques can help you avoid cavities and gum disease and increase your overall comfort of your orthodontic care.
How to Properly Use Your Toothbrush
Brushing your teeth three to four times a day will help avoid plaque buildup. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. Using a back and forth motion, begin by brushing the outside of your teeth at least 10 times per tooth. Be sure to brush right next to the gums as this area is particularly vulnerable to bacteria. Next, brush the inside of your teeth using the same back and forth technique as before. When brushing near your gums though, use a circular motion. Lastly, brush the chewing surface of your teeth and thoroughly rinse your mouth.
It is still just as important to floss while you have braces. This is the best way to prevent plaque buildup between the teeth and gums. Flossing actually makes it more difficult for plaque buildup to occur. We recommend flossing before you go to bed each day. Use a floss threader to floss while you have braces.
Fluoride Rinsing Daily
Once you’ve finished brushing and flossing, use one capful of Colgate Phos-Flur to rinse with for about a minute. DO NOT swallow the mouthwash. This will help prevent the chance of developing cavities by about 80%. No prescription is necessary for Colgate Phos-Flur.
Remedies for Discomfort
Some slight discomfort right after getting your braces on or adjusted, is normal. You may use Ibuprofen or Tylenol to help alleviate the discomfort. If a bracket or wire is irritating your gums, use a small ball of wax to prevent further irritation. If these remedies do not work, please contact our office.
Warm Salt Water Rinses
To help prevent you gums from being sore, use a warm salt water rinse once a day. Simply dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a warm cup of water and rinse in your mouth for about two minutes.
Regular Dental Visits
It is still important for you to visit your general dentist every six months for a regular dental exam and cleaning. This will allow him/her to track your orthodontic progress and your oral hygiene habits.