The best way to ensure a clean and healthy smile is 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, tooth decay and even loss of teeth. 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.
Braces can trap food particles and make it difficult to brush away plaque. Careful brushing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease.
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.
For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, use dental floss to remove food particles and plaque. Your toothbrush cannot reach between your teeth, so brushing alone will not keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day. Floss threaders and specialty floss such as Oral-B Superfloss make this task much easier. Don't worry - we'll provide step-by-step instructions on how to do this!