Your commitment to a consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine during your orthodontic treatment is essential for the best result.  Orthodontic brackets and wires can trap food particles from everything you eat and drink.  If you don’t keep your mouth clean, bacteria and plaque will build up and destroy your smile before it has a chance to be perfect.

Here are some helpful tips to keep a clean and healthy mouth with braces so that you can have a perfect new smile that truly shines!

 *Don’t rush when you brush.  It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two whole minutes twice a day. Taking your time goes a long way and helps ensure that smile is perfectly clean.  An extra after lunch or school brushing helps to fight cavities.

 *Fluoride is your friend.   Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste.  You may even be a candidate for prescription toothpaste with extra fluoride during your orthodontic treatment to help prevent decalcification or white scarring around your brackets.

*Replace Your Toothbrush More Frequently.  Your toothbrush will need to be exchanged in less time than its usual 3 month lifespan.  Your increased brushing and your brackets will cause more damage to your toothbrush than teeth without braces would.  It will be time to get a new toothbrush when the toothbrush bristles begin to fray and the head loses shape, usually around 2 months of use.

*Floss threaders and interdental proxabrushes are life savers.  Flossing is by far the most tedious activity you will encounter with braces.  You cannot just stop flossing for a year or two.  Taking a time out from homework to floss and spacing out your before bed routine along with using a floss threader will make cleaning the spaces in between your teeth a breeze.  Interdental Brushes or Proxabrushes are your other new best friends.  These pointy cone-shaped brushes come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes cannot.

*Keep Essentials Nearby.   It is a good idea to have a bag of all the braces essentials you’ll need when you’re not at home.  Pack this bag with the items that work for you.   Having all of these items on hand will make it easier to clean when you’re on the go.  If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

*Swish Water to give yourself a head start.  A good way to remove debris that’s caught in braces is by vigorously swishing water after each meal. The water will be able to get rid of a lot of the stuck food, but harder to reach debris will need to be brushed or flossed away.

 *Avoid sticky and hard foods. Review your orthodontist’s food recommendations. Hard and sticky food is very difficult to dislodge from braces, so the best way to keep it out is by avoiding it all together!

 *Make time for the pros. It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit City Kids Dental North Shore regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a qualified professional can provide. We are a team dedicated to providing you with the highest level of attention and care.  We have served so many patients during their orthodontic journey and stand ready to share our expertise with you!