Oral Hygiene

Now that your braces are in place, it is very important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of your treatment. As long as you avoid certain foods and take proper action caring for your braces, you’ll be fine!  This page is meant to inform you on the proper methods to ensure excellent oral hygiene while you have braces.  Of course braces, wires, bands and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque.  However, careful brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease.

Brushing while Wearing Braces

brushing-bracesThough you may be used to brushing your teeth less often prior to braces, during orthodontic treatment, it’s important to brush your teeth four times daily.  This allows you to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces.  Here are the suggested times:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After dinner
  • At bedtime

Brushing should take at least two minutes and should include attention to each individual tooth’s front, sides, and back.  Further, each bracket itself should be brushed on the top and bottom to ensure plaque is removed from around the bracket.​​

Flossing while Wearing Braces

flossing-with-bracesWe get it, nobody likes flossing at first...but over time, you become accustom to it and begin to really enjoy it! With braces, flossing takes more time and patience. We recommend flossing at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed so even your dreams can feel great!  With braces, flossing is still important.  Yes, it will take a little more time and patience, but flossing makes a large difference over time.  

You can use a reusable floss threader to floss under your archwire, which makes it easier to get the floss under the archwire, or just carefully sift the floss under your archwire. To use the floss threader, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader, and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. Whether you use a floss threader or not, use care around your archwire and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much pressure on it..

Rinsing with an Antibacterial Mouthwash

To reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks, we suggest using a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse. This rinse will help prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of the hydrogen peroxide rinse for one minute, and then spit it out. You may use it up to four times daily following brushing. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, this hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse helps the inside of your mouth heal. It can be used for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor injuries to the gums.

Using an Interdental Toothbrush

interdental-brushThis prickly device, an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush, is used to clean underneath and around your archwires and braces. As with flossing, it’s important to use the interdental toothbrush gently to avoid damaging your wires and wearing down the interdental too quickly.

Topical Fluoride

We recommend using a sodium fluoride gel to help prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces. This gel kills bacteria and replaces minerals in the tooth enamel that have been removed by harmful acids. Using a fluoride gel does not replace daily brushing and flossing, but it should be applied following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of the gel on a toothbrush, and apply it to your teeth for one minute. Then spit it out. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes afterward. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes, so do not wash it away by eating, drinking or rinsing.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

cleaning-applianceIf you have a removable appliance, it’s important to prevent food particles from sticking underneath it so your gums don’t become irritated.  Brush your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Further, soak the appliance daily so it remains clean. Dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature, and soak your appliance once a day.

Contact Us!

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about oral hygiene.  We’re committed to providing the best Las Vegas orthodontic care that we possibly can.  Book your follow up appointment today!