The Brushing and Flossing Difference
The best way to maintain a clean and healthy smile is brushing and flossing.
Food particles can accumulate on teeth and in braces. If you do not clean your teeth regularly, the accumulation may turn into plaque. The bacteria that infest in this accumulation can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and even loss of teeth.
To ensure the best possible result, take utmost care of your braces, teeth, and gums, thus avoiding food accumulation and plaque while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, a rotary toothbrush is preferred. Apply a small strip of fluoride toothpaste on the bristles. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line.
Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth, between braces, and the surface of each tooth.
It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush upwards on the lower teeth and downwards on the upper teeth. Then brush the outside, inside, and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
While you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, you should brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces!
- In the morning after breakfast
- After lunch or right after school
- After supper
- At bedtime
You will need to replace your toothbrush more often due to your appliances. As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one.
You may find it difficult to reach some areas under your archwire with your toothbrush, we recommend using a water flosser.
To maintain optimal oral hygiene, it is very important to floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash and fluoride treatment throughout your orthodontic treatment and beyond.
For areas between the teeth that you can’t reach with your toothbrush use dental floss or a water flosser to remove food particles.
When you are wearing braces, you need more time and patience for flossing. Nevertheless, it is important to floss your teeth daily.
To floss under your archwire daily, use the reusable floss threader we provide. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth.
You will be able to feel when the tooth is clean and hear the squeak of the floss against your clean teeth. Be careful while flossing around your archwire. Do not floss around it too forcefully or put too much pressure on it.
After you floss between your archwire and braces, floss between your other teeth and gums.
If you are flossing without the floss threader, follow these steps:
- Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser
- Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers
- Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out food particles or plaque.
Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you proceed, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth.
Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing around your braces, your gums may bleed a little.
If the bleeding does not stop after the first few times of flossing, inform a staff member at your next appointment.