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Oral Hygiene

Now that you have your braces on, how do you take care of them? It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

Toothbrushing Instructions Review

Let’s review a few important points we talked about in the office today:

  • Clean braces are bright and shiny. Dirty braces are covered with a white, milky film of bacteria called plaque.

  • Plaque causes tooth decay, bad breath, swollen gums and eventual gum disease. As plaque builds up along the gumline, bacterial irritants cause your gum tissues to become red, puffy, and sore. Sometimes they will bleed.

  • Gums that bleed or swell have not been thoroughly brushed. Brush between the gums and the braces to massage gums and disrupt bacteria.

  • The best methods for removing plaque are tooth and gum brushing, flossing and fluoride rinses. This daily oral hygiene home care program takes time – your time. But, it can also shorten the time you have to wear your braces and reduces the risk of developing white spots on your teeth.

A Few Reminders:

  • Brush a minimum of four times per day – after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and before you go to bed.

  • Brush first with water, then brush again with a small amount of toothpaste.

  • Floss once a day. Use a proxibrush to clean under the wires.

  • Never sit down in a treatment chair unless your teeth are clean. Braces and appliances cannot be adjusted properly when they’re dirty.

  • Clean teeth move faster than dirty teeth.

Interdental Toothbrush

A Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Use the Proxabrush gently to avoid damaging your wires. The Proxabrush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Topical Fluoride

 Prevident is a sodium fluoride gel that helps prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. The use of Prevident does not replace daily brushing and flossing but should be done following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a pea sized amount of Prevident on a dry toothbrush and brush your teeth for one minute then spit it out. You may not eat or drink for 30 minutes after you use Prevident. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes, so do not wash it away by eating or drinking.

Antibacterial Mouthwash

Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks. Peroxyl helps to prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. If you an irritated area in your mouth, rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of Peroxyl (half a capful) for one minute and then spit it out. You may use Peroxyl up to four times daily following your schedule for brushing: after meals (or after school) and before bed. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, Peroxyl helps the inside of your mouth heal. Peroxyl can be used for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor temporary injuries to the gums.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

Clean your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or another denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of cold tap water and soak your appliance every day for 15 minutes. Brush the appliance with that solution.  Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak the appliance daily.  Your appliance will taste better, and you will prevent plaque and bacterial accumulation.

OKAY…now it is up to you!

Please call if you have any questions or need help.

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