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Good Oral Hygiene is Important!
While it is always necessary to practice good oral hygiene, it is especially important for those with braces or aligners. Braces are often necessary to correct a multitude of dental issues however, if not taken care of properly other dental issues can arise. Braces provide small areas for food particles to become trapped and if not properly addressed, can cause a great deal of plaque build up. Plaque is your mouth’s greatest enemy; it eats away at your enamel resulting in tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, bacteria from plaque contributes to bad breath and yellowing of teeth. This can be easily prevented by just giving your teeth a little extra attention: Remove aligners before eating or drinking, Brush after every meal (including snacks), Keep your aligners clean, Floss daily, Rinse with mouthwash.
Following the guideline below will keep your teeth and gums healthy and enhance your smile during and after orthodontic treatment.
- Brush – After Each Meal and Snack Use Soft Bristle Toothbrush
- Remove elastics and any removable orthodontic appliances if applicable.
- Rinse your mouth with water to loosen any food in or around your braces.
- Holding brush at a 45 degree angle, begin brushing each tooth at the gum line.
- Clean upper brackets by brushing at a downward angle from the gum line to the tooth’s edge.
- Clean lower brackets by brushing at an upward angle from the gum line to the tooth’s edge.
- Rinse with water again after brushing to remove loose particles. You may also use an electric toothbrush if you prefer. Floss – Minimum of Once Daily Use Waxed Floss and Floss Threader
- Cut an 18 – 24 inch piece of floss and insert through the eye of the floss threader.
- Insert the point of the threader under the wire and gently pull the floss through the wire
- Floss between each tooth by gently sliding the floss up and down along the sides of each tooth (waxed floss is less likely to get snagged).
- Remove the floss from between the teeth and out from behind the wire.
- Rethread the floss threader, and repeat the process on the next set of teeth. You may want to consider an oral irrigator for those hard to reach areas. The pulsating stream of water works well to remove plaque and food debris. Mouthwash – Twice Daily Swish for 30 seconds
- Use the correct amount (indicated on label).
- Swish with mouthwash vigorously for approximately 30 seconds (morning and evening).
- Spit mouthwash into sink (do not swallow).
- Using a mirror, examine your teeth and braces to make sure nothing was missed.
- Avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes.
Visiting Your Orthodontist and Dentist
● It is important to keep your orthodontic appointments to make sure your treatment stays on track and proper care is being taken.
● While under orthodontic treatment, it is still necessary to see your primary dentist for routine cleaning.
Brush, Floss, Swish!