Now that you have your braces in place, it is just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of your treatment as it was before. Braces, wires, bands, and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Brushing with Braces
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. 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 up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside, and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
Especially during orthodontic treatment, 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. It may be difficult for your toothbrush to reach some areas under your archwire. Daily rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash such as ACT helps to strengthen the enamel of your teeth and helps lower the bacterial count in your mouth.
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