Dr. Lazzara is dedicated to helping patients of all ages achieve and maintain excellent oral health, and the best way to ensure you have a clean and healthy smile is by brushing and flossing your teeth. It’s extremely important to take care of your braces, teeth, and gums while you’re in orthodontic treatment, and these brushing and flossing tips will give you the best possible result.
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush in small, circular motions. Be sure to cover all areas between your teeth, between the braces, and on the surface of each tooth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse. Remember, proper brushing should take several minutes to complete.
While you’re in orthodontic treatment, brush your teeth four times daily–after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, after dinner, and at bedtime–to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing, and be sure to floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash and fluoride treatment for optimal hygiene. Finally, you will need to replace your toothbrush more often due to your treatment. As soon as the bristles on your toothbrush start to wear down or fray, replace it with a new one.
Flossing takes more time and patience when you have braces, but it’s important to floss every day because it removes food particles and plaque in areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
Use the reusable floss threader provided by our office to floss under your archwire. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader, and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. You’ll know when the tooth is clean because you’ll hear the floss squeak against your teeth. Be careful when flossing around your archwire; you don’t want to floss too forcefully or apply too much pressure. After flossing between your archwire and braces, floss between your other teeth and gums.
If you are flossing without the floss threader, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser, then wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, and pull out the food particles and plaque. Unwrap the clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have use the floss from beginning to end. Be sure to floss behind all of your back teeth, too!
Floss at night to ensure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing around your braces, your gums may bleed a little, which is okay. However, if the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, let us know at your next appointment.