Brushing your teeth with braces Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between the teeth, around the braces, and on the surfaces of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse. It is important during orthodontic treatment to brush your teeth four times daily:
You will need to replace your toothbrush more often also. As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one.
Flossing your teeth with braces For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach, use dental floss to remove food particles and plaque. Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day. Use the reusable floss threader provided by our office to floss under your archwire daily. You will be able to feel when the tooth is clean and hear the squeak of the floss against your clean teeth. Use care around your archwire and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much pressure on it. If you are flossing without the floss threader, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth. Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing around your braces, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, inform a staff member at your next appointment.
Foods to avoid with braces Hard foods and sticky foods must be avoided as they can break or damage wires and brackets. Also limit eating sugary foods because they cause tooth decay. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing, and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided as well.
Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:
Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:
Examples of sugary foods to minimize:
Examples of sugary foods to minimize (limit to once a day):