At Cobb Orthodontics, our main goal is creating beautiful and healthy smiles for our patients in the Greensboro and Randleman areas of North Carolina. Although we strive to create straight smiles, we also want to make sure to educate our patients on the importance of maintaining excellent oral hygiene. Many patients do not know that your poor oral hygiene habits can lead to tooth decay as well as other health problems.
Maintaining Excellent Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment
Once braces are in place it just even more important that our patients maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of treatment. With braces on your teeth there is even more room for food particles to get stuck and create plaque, which can lead to tooth decay. It is important that patients take the time to properly brush and floss with care to not only clean your teeth but also avoid damaging any brackets or wires. We encourage you to read below about how you can take the best care of your teeth while in braces.
Brushing In Braces
Please follow the following brushing instructions while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment:
- Start with the outside of the teeth, with the brush at a straight angle. Use circular, vibrating motions.
- Clean the area between the gums and braces by angling the brush down (up for the lower jaw). Keep moving in a small circular motion.
- Clean the rest of the outside of the teeth by angling the brush up (down for the lower jaw)
- Carefully brush the chewing surface of both the upper and lower jaw.
- Finish by brushing the inside of the teeth.
- Floss at least once a day. The floss needs to be pulled under the archwire. A floss threader facilitates this. Start by pulling floss through the threader.
- Push the end of the floss threader under the archwire and pull the floss through.
- Pull the floss up between the teeth and gently move it up and down the side of both teeth. Remember to move it up all the way under the gums.
- Pull the floss out and use a different section of it for the next tooth.
When you are finished brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth carefully with water or an antiseptic dental rinse.
An antiseptic dental rinse can help minor gum inflammations and irritations from orthodontic appliances. Also used to cleanse canker sores, minor wounds and other mouth and gum irritations, this mouth rinse removes debris, enabling natural healing to occur.
An interdental toothbrush (proxabrush) is another aid you might find useful in keeping your teeth, braces and gums clean and healthy. It can be used to clean under orthodontic wires and around braces. Use this device slowly and carefully, so you do not damage your braces.
During the retention phase, it is important to brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth as they can accumulate food particles and plaque.
Your teeth may be a little sore for the first week in braces, so we recommend sticking to a soft food diet until the discomfort subsides. While in braces, you can still eat just about anything although there are a few exceptions.
You should avoid hard foods, such as ice and pizza crust, as well as sticky foods, including licorice and caramels. These foods can damage wires and brackets. It is also important to minimize foods high in sugar content, like ice cream and cookies, and reduce sugary drinks to once a day.
Contact Us For More Information
If you have any further questions about how to maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine while in braces please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always available to answer any questions that you might have. Your Greensboro and Randleman orthodontist looks forward to meeting you!