Now that you have braces on you need to make sure that you are taking more time and effort to keep things clean. How often should I brush?
So why do you need to bump up your hygiene game?
- Without braces: Brush 2x a day and flossing 1x a day.
- With braces: Brush 3x a day (after breakfast, after lunch/school and before bed), floss 1x a day.
- Plaque starts to form within 20 minutes of brushing your teeth so that’s why it is very important to brush 3x per day.
What if I don’t brush well?
- Now there is more hardware in your mouth, it is important to keep everything clean,
- Because the brackets/wires sit off the teeth, the toothbrush bristles can get hung up on them which means there is more chance for things to get missed,
- With braces, there is more surface area for food to get stuck on,
- The braces are moving your teeth, so you need to have healthy gums in order to do that in the healthiest, quickest way.
- If you don’t brush well a very bad chain of events happen. It happens like this:
- Bad brushing & flossing leads to the formation of Plaque on the teeth.
- The acid in the plaque weakens the surface of the teeth.
- Weakened tooth surface turns into ‘white scars’ or decalcifications that never go away.
- White scars plus more plaque leads to cavities.
Stuff to help me keep my teeth clean Tooth brush:
- It is important to use a soft bristled tooth brush.
- You are going to use a back and forth scrubbing motion-making sure to get the bristle above, on and below the brackets-basically you are going to brush all surfaces of the tooth and brackets;
- Sonic/electric tooth brushes are ideal as long as they are being used properly-again using the same angles but let the tooth brush do the job;
- It is important to brush 3 times a day: First thing in the morning, at some point in the afternoon and then before bed
- It is important to floss 1x a day.
- Flossing is what helps get stuff out from in between teeth as well as cleaning under the gums. If you are not flossing you are only cleaning 50% of your mouth.
- With braces it is better to use the string floss, ‘Flosser’ just cannot get between the teeth with the wires in the way;
- You are going to get blue floss threaders. You will tie a piece of string floss to the threader and go in between each bracket and wire. It makes it easier if you start from the front of your mouth and go back.
- It takes a little more time and you only need to floss 1x a day so doing so before bed is best.
Prevident Tooth paste:
- These little ‘Christmas tree’ brushes are good to get food out from around the brackets.
- They are reusable you just need to rinse them off.
- They are good if you are not able to brush right away and have food in your teeth.
- THEY DO NOT REPLACE BRUSHING OR FLOSSING
We gave you a prescription tooth paste called Prevident. This is a prescription so you will need to have this filled at any pharmacy. There is a higher concentration of Fluoride in this that is why it needs to be prescribed.
The fluoride helps to keep everything around the brackets mineralized and strong. You only need to use this 1x a day before bed.
You cannot eat, drink or rinse for 30 mins after using it. Also make sure not to rinse with water after brushing, just spit out as much as you can and let it sit on the teeth. Use your regular tooth paste the other 2x you brush daily.
Stay away from any whitening tooth paste with ACTIVE whitening agents in them. They are meant to work slowly over time. With the brackets on you will not notice a difference until we take the brackets off. Wax:
- Is good for anything that is sharp or poking.
- We want you to get use to the braces so please do not put excessive amounts of wax on.
- If you have a bracket that comes loose or a wire is poking just take a piece of wax, ball it up and stick it to whatever is bothering you.
- Wax may not always stick on the upper molars because we have saliva glands in the cheeks next to them. If that is the case, you can use the end of a cotton swab. Rub it along what is sharp and the fibers will catch holding it in place.
- If you happen to swallow wax, don’t worry this will not hurt you