Brushing With Braces


You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean with braces. Food catches in the brackets and between your teeth, and plaque builds up especially at the gum line areas. If plaque remains on the teeth for any length of time, it may leave a permanent white scar on the surface.

Brushing after meals should become part of your daily schedule. Try to brush at least four times a day. Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure Brush first with a wet toothbrush without tooth paste. This will enhance your visibility so that you can see that the important areas are clean. Brush at a 45 degree angle to the tooth; brush in small circles above and below the brackets. Concentrate on the gumline areas. Repeat the procedure using toothpaste. Both steps should take two minutes total.

Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A waterpik can be a useful tool for dislodging food particles and for massaging gums but it cannot remove the sticky plaque that adheres to the teeth. An electric toothbrush may also be recommended depending on the individuals oral health. A proxybrush is very useful for cleaning around brackets and in spaces between teeth. Flossing is more important than ever and should be done daily.

Floss threaders are needed unless you decide to try superfloss. It has a threader end, a thicker section for extra cleaning and floss at the other end. It should be very effective. In addition, rinsing with a Listerine product at least once a day can help reduce plaque bacteria.

Lastly, brushing with a prescription toothpaste at bedtime helps to harden the enamel surface of the teeth, thus reducing the risk of white spots and cavities.

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