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ORAL HYGIENE TIPS

GOOD ORAL HYGIENE IS IMPORTANT!


Patients wearing braces need to do their best to keep their braces, gums and teeth clean.  By following Dr. Seuss' orthodontic tips on

oral hygiene and avoiding certain foods, you will be able to maintain healthy gums, teeth and the life changing smile you have always

hoped for. To guarantee the best oral hygiene for your smile, always keep your toothbrush handy so that you can brush after every

meal or snack.  Keeping your teeth clean with braces tends to be a little more challenging, so follow our tips below on how to brush

your teeth with braces to keep your smile fresh and clean. 

     

  • Brush the outside of your teeth using small circular motions.  Take care to brush the outside of your back teeth, also.      
  • Start with your gums and the area between your gums and braces.  Keep the toothbrush at an angle, down for the upper teeth, up for the lower teeth.  Move back and forth in a circular pattern.      
  • Clean under the braces and the rest of your teeth by angling the brush up to reach your upper teeth and down to reach your lower teeth.      
  • Brush the chewing surface of your teeth.  Move the brush back and forth, careful to reach those back teeth!      
  • Finish your brushing session by getting those hard to reach inside parts.       
  • After you are finished, rinse your mouth out with water.  Follow with an antiseptic dental rinse.  

Check the steps below to see how to properly brush your new braces.  


Plaque is your enemy. If plaque is left on your teeth and/or around the braces, you can develop swollen gums, bad breath, scarred and discolored teeth, even cavities.  Patients should avoid foods that are sticky, hard or chewy.  They should also avoid any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities.  Patients should brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals.  Keeping your teeth clean is your most important job during your orthodontic treatment!

The foods below are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances and are examples of what NOT to eat: 

 

                 Beef jerky       Caramel       Carrots       Celery        Corn chips       Corn on the cob (cut off the cob is ok)       Crisp taco shells  

                   Doritos           Fruit Roll-ups  Gum        Gummy Bears       Hard or sticky candy       Ice cubes       Nuts       Pizza crust  

                           Popcorn         Skittles       Soft drinks       Taffy       Toffee       Whole apples - cut them into small slices


Flossing with braces is a bit on the tricky side, read on for information on flossing with braces.  Since practice makes perfect, follow our step-by-step flossing with braces guide to ensure you keep your orthodontic smile clean and healthy. 


  1. Thread your floss under the wire that connects your braces together.  A floss threader might be needed to get the floss under                   ​ the archwire.  Use a piece of floss that is 12 inches long for best flossing results. 
  2. Once you have threaded the floss under the wire, wrap the floss around the tooth on one side.  Then push the floss up                       towards the gum line and pull down toward the wire. For best results, repeat this step 5 times to remove all plaque. 
  3. Next, wrap the floss around the neighboring tooth and repeat the process on each tooth. Keep in mind, the best time to floss is             before bedtime, after brushing to remove the plaque missed by brushing. This process will take more time than flossing without             braces. If your gums are not healthy, they may bleed the first few days you floss.  Remember that consistent brushing and                         flossing will result in a great orthodontic smile.​