As you eat, your teeth and braces will collect food. Bacteria from your mouth can quickly turn this food into plaque that forms acid to attack your teeth and toxins to attack your gums. This leads to demineralisation (white marks on you teeth) and tooth decay (holes), inflamed gums (swollen red and bleeding). To prevent this you must thoroughly clean the food off your teeth and braces before it can be made into plaque; that means straight after every meal and snack.
It is very important to continue to see your family dentist every 6 months for a check-up and thorough cleaning of your teeth. You may also need a professional fluoride treatment.
Morning and night, brush your teeth and braces with your orthodontic toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste.
(Colgate Total is recommended because of its antibacterial ingredient)
Use your egg timer and brush for at least 3 minutes.
Clean your braces first. Angle your brush down onto your braces and apply pressure so that the bristles slide under the wire and between the teeth. Now move the brush in small circles. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving on to the next one. Do this from above and below the wire for all the teeth, then repeat the process for all the bottom teeth.
Now clean the area between your gums and the braces, where food collects and causes most harm. Angle your brush towards the gums and use the same circular motion as before.
Next brush the chewing surfaces and insides of your teeth.
Finally rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and take a good look in the mirror. Your teeth should be really clean and shiny. Your braces should sparkle!
» Click here to watch Dr. Barber's 'Brushing Techniques with braces'
Flossing cleans the surfaces between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. It needs to be don’t at least once every day.
Because it takes time and is fiddly, it’s best to do this at night after tea when you are not as rushed. Don’t leave it until bedtime when you’re tired.
Use the Super Floss we gave you. It comes in pre-cut strands with an inbuilt floss threader to make the job easier.
Thread the stiff end of the floss up under the archwire and pull it through to the thinner part of the floss. Wrap the floss around your fingers on either side of your teeth and slide the floss down between two teeth. You now have two surfaces to clean, one on each tooth. Work the floss against one tooth allowing it to slip under the gum. Use an up and down motion to move the floss against the tooth up to the wire and back down under the gum. Now move the floss over to the other tooth surface and clean it in the same way.
Pull the floss out from between these two teeth and thread it under the archwire between the next two teeth, cleaning them as before. Repeat this process for all the teeth, top and bottom.
Don’t worry if you don’t get the hang of flossing straightaway; the most important thing is to keep trying because practice makes perfect.
» Click here to view Dr. Barber's 'Flossing technique with braces'
This little brush is for cleaning hard to reach spaces. It is very useful to dislodge any food caught under the archwire. It is not a substitute for a toothbrush or floss because it can only clean under the wires and a little between the teeth; you still need to clean the danger zone as well as the chewing and inside surfaces of the teeth, and thoroughly between the teeth.
» Click here to watch Dr.Barber's 'Brushing with Interdental Brush'
If you have any questions regarding orthodontic treatment, please click here to contact us today.
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