Oral Hygiene

Important Tooth Brushing Tips
One of the common fears about orthodontics is that the braces may cause decay. Your full bands, or the brackets bonded to your teeth, cover and protect that portion of your teeth as long as they are firmly attached. Either way, your brushing problem is the same. The bands or bonded brackets do make your teeth harder to clean. The brackets, tubes and wires tend to make a little shelf around the outside of the teeth. This shelf makes it harder for your toothbrush to clean the spaces between your gums and the attachments.

If you fail to get the teeth clean and fail to exercise your gums, then the gums swell and make it even more difficult to clean. Foods that usually slide across the teeth and gums during chewing are held back and prevented from doing their job of helping to clean the teeth and exercise the gums.

Within five minutes after you eat. Its easy to say but sometimes hard to do. When you’re away from home, we suggest you carry a travel type of folding toothbrush with you.

Interdental Toothbrush
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.

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
Phos-Flur is a sodium fluoride gel 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 Phos-Flur does not replace daily brushing and flossing but should be done following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of Phos-Flur 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 Phos-Flur. 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.