Treatments

Oral Hygiene

Braces can do wonders for your smile, but they also make brushing and flossing a challenge. The following steps will help you avoid the many pitfalls of braces, keeping your teeth clean throughout the straightening process:

Brushing

First aim the toothbrush straight and brush the outer teeth in a circular motion. Then brush the margins of your teeth, aiming the toothbrush downward from the gums to brush your upper jaw and upward to brush the lower one. After this, brush the middle part of your outer teeth, aiming the brush upward when brushing the upper jaw and downward when brushing the lower jaw. Once you’ve finished the outer teeth, brush the chewing surface of all your teeth before brushing the inner sides.

Flossing

Thread the floss through the outer loop of your threader and then use the threader to drag the floss through your braces’ archway in the space between two teeth. Pull the floss up into the space and move it around, making sure to clean under the gums. Then pull the floss out, put a new piece of floss in the threader, and repeat for each tooth.

Rinsing

Rinse your mouth out with water once you finish flossing and brushing. If your gums are irritated, inflamed, or have canker sores, rinse with an antiseptic dental wash.

Interdental

Consider using an interdental toothbrush to clean under your braces’ wires. Slip the toothbrush under the wire and slowly brush, taking care not to damage the braces.

Foods to Avoid

Steer clear of sticky foods (e.g. caramel or taffy), ice, hard candy or raw vegetables, as these can get caught in your braces, damaging the equipment and your teeth alike. You should also minimize your consumption of sugary foods for the same reason. Try not to eat hard or chewy foods, particularly in the first week or so after having your braces installed or tightened, as your teeth will be sore.

Retainer Care

Once you’re finished with braces, you’ll need to hold your teeth in place with a retainer, which comes with its own set of hygiene requirements. Once each day, brush your retainer as you would your teeth in order to keep plague, food, and dust from settling on it. You should also soak the device in a glass of cool water along with a denture cleansing tablet. Never soak the retainer in hot water, as this can cause it to lose its shape.