Oral Hygiene


You know how important it is to brush and floss properly when you're wearing braces-- but what's the best way to do that? Let's start with the basic brushing tools: Either a soft bristle brush or a bi-level brush (one that has short bristles in the middle and longer bristles at the edges) can be effective. Remember to brush all tooth surfaces: the outside, the inside, and the chewing surfaces as well. Be especially careful to clean the areas between wires and teeth, and between brackets and gums-- that's where food particles can easily become trapped.

Brushing with braces.


Interdental Toothbrush

 Interdental toothbrush.If you're having trouble cleaning the areas near the brackets and wires, there are some special tools that may help. One is called the interdental toothbrush, or Proxabrush. 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. 

Floss Fundamentals

 Floss threader.To keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, you need to floss at least once per day. Using a floss threader, you will be able to reach areas under the archwire. Using this device is somewhat like threading a needle: Pull one end through the threader, and then push the threader-- carrying with it the free end of the floss-- under the archwire. Now grasp the floss on each end and slide it up and down the sides of both teeth, all the way under the gums. 

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. 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.

Topical Fluoride

A topical fluoride 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 a topical fluoride does not replace daily brushing and flossing but should be done following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of topical fluoride on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. You may not eat or drink for 30 minutes after you use fluoride. 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.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

Brush your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak the appliance daily. Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature and soak your appliance once every day. Your appliance will taste better, and you will prevent plaque and bacterial accumulation.

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