Brushing and Flossing with Braces
When you have braces on, it’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly. Getting cavities in the teeth and having sore puffy gums due to inadequate home care not only slows down orthodontic treatment, but may require removal of the braces and cessation of treatment altogether. When your braces come off we want you to have teeth that are not only straight, but healthy and cavity free too!
Using a soft toothbrush, brush above and below the braces using a small circular motion. Food and plaque will especially collect between the braces and gums so make sure to concentrate on this area specifically, tilting the bristles of the brush alternatively toward the gums and toward the braces. The chewing surfaces and insides of the teeth will be easier to clean, but don’t forget them too! Ultrasonic and electric toothbrushes are highly recommended as they can help you do a more thorough job. However, whether using specialized or regular toothbrushes, you should be spending about 2 minutes to brush your teeth making sure to get the bristles on every tooth.
To floss, thread some floss through a floss threader and then insert this behind the archwire. Draw the floss between the teeth and with an up-and-down motion extending under the gums, cleaning the teeth on both sides. Other tools such as interproximal brushes may be used in addition to floss, but should not be a substitute for it.