Oral Hygiene; Gadsden, Alabama Orthodontist
Brushing with braces

Everyone knows how important it is to regularly and properly floss and brush your teeth. However, with braces, it is even more important to work hard towards good dental hygiene. Braces trap food and, if not taken care of, this can increase the build up of plaque. This can result in gum irritation and even erode the areas of your teeth around the braces. Not to mention, it can cause bad breath! Use the information below to help, and also be sure to view our list of foods to avoid.

  • Brushing
    Your local retailer will have toothbrushes ranging from soft to hard bristles. Our recommendation is to chose the soft-bristled toothbrush because they do a better job of getting into those tight spaces and they are easier on your gums. In addition to your manual toothbrush, electric toothbrushes are a good option to use. Electric toothbrushes do a good job in maintaining your healthy gums.

    Be sure to brush after all meals and at least three times a day. Typically, a thorough brushing should take two to three minutes. You need to brush your teeth, as you always have, but you now have to be sure to brush on and around your braces. It is best to brush slowly and carefully.
  • Flossing
    Flossing can be difficult with braces, but don't let that keep you from doing it at least once daily. Be sure to get between your teeth, as you always have, but to also get the spaces made by your braces that can trap food and build plaque.
  • Other tools to help you go the extra mile...
    Mouthwash can be a great help, but be sure you use an antibacterial one, as many are made solely for fresher breath. Also, oral irrigators (such as a Waterpik), can help remove trapped food, but should not be used as a replacement for brushing or flossing.
  • Seeing your Dentist
    Orthodontic appliances make oral hygiene more challenging. Therefore, it is VERY important to keep seeing your general dentist every 3-6 months for cleanings when you have braces.
  • Retainer Care
    Retainers need to be brushed every time you brush your teeth because they can accumulate plaque. To help prevent your retainers from plaque accumulation and to help them taste better, you can soak them for 5 minutes in a glass of water with a denture cleaning tablet such as Efferdent or Polident. Do not use hot water because it will cause your retainers to distort.