Brushing and Flossing
The best way to ensure a clean and healthy smile is frequent brushing and flossing. Food particles can accumulate on teeth and in braces, and over time, turn into plaque. The bacteria that results from this accumulation can lead to gum disease, permanent staining (decalcification) and tooth decay. To avoid these problems while you are in orthodontic treatment, take special care of your braces, teeth and gums to ensure you will have the best possible result.
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. Make sure to brush:
- 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. It is important to floss every day and use a fluoride mouthwash for optimal oral hygiene.
For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can't reach, use dental floss to remove food particles and plaque. Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day.
Use the reusable floss threader provided by our office to floss under your archwire daily. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. You will be able to feel when the tooth is clean and hear the squeak of the floss against your clean teeth. Use care around your archwire and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much pressure on it.
Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing around your braces, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, inform a staff member at your next appointment.
A Phase 1 orthodontic appointment is part of proper childcare. You should bring your child to your pediatric orthodontist to prevent the consequences of malocclusion later in life. Even if your child does not need braces right away, this checkup allows the monitoring of your child’s oral development. An early age range of six to…
The painless pediatric dentist can provide dental sedation options to keep your child comfortable during dental appointments. Patients of all ages need regular dental care, but dental anxiety can make it harder to keep up with routine dental appointments. Establishing a healthy routine from an early age can help children cultivate a lifelong habit of…
When it comes to pediatric dentistry, you are probably looking forward to when your child starts losing baby teeth. This is an important milestone for every child. However, you might be wondering what will happen next. There are several things you should know about permanent teeth.Usually, a child’s permanent teeth come in the same order…
The term "baby root canal" refers to a pediatric dentistry procedure that achieves the same goal as a traditional, adult root canal. This procedure is often required in order to save a tooth from being lost completely, which can be detrimental to one's oral health. Children need all of their baby teeth in order to…
Early orthodontic treatment is immensely important. Timing is crucial even when it comes to your child’s orthodontic treatment. Parents are always encouraged to take their children for the first checkup when an orthodontic issue is recognized, but no later than age 7. By this age, your child has enough permanent teeth for an oral health…