Tooth Brushing

Step 1: Start with the outside of the teeth, with the brush at a straight angle. Use circular, vibrating motions.

Step 2: Check the area between the gums and the braces by angling the brush down (up for the lower jaw). Keep moving in a small circluar motion.

Step 3: Clean the rest of the outside of the teeth by angling the brush up (down for the lower jaw).

Step 4: Carefully brush the chewing surface of both the upper and lower jaw.

Step 5: Finish by brushing the inside of the teeth.

Flossing

Step 1: Floss at least once a day. The floss needs to be pulled under the archwire if you have braces. A floss threader can facilitate this. Start by pulling floss through the threader.

Step 2: Push the end of the floss threader under the archwire and pull the floss through.

Step 3: Pull the floss up between the teeth and gently move it up and down the side of borth teeth. Remember to move it up all the way under the gums.

Step 4: Pull the floss out and use a difference section of it for the next tooth.

Rinsing

When you are finished brushing and rinsing, 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.

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.

Interdental

An interdental toothbrush (proxabrush) in 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.

Retainer

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. Once a day, you should soak your appliance in a glass of room-temperature tap water with a denture-cleaning tablet, such as Polident or Efferdent. This will help prevent plaque build-up and oral infections and will keep your appliance tasting better. Do not use hot water as it can distort the appliance.

Food to Avoid

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.