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Brushing and Flossing with Braces

Adjusting to proper oral hygiene with a smile adorned with brackets, bands, and wires is paramount. Maintaining effective cleaning routines around orthodontic appliances prevents plaque buildup, safeguarding against gum inflammation and tooth decay.

Brushing Techniques:

Regular and thorough brushing is crucial with braces. Strive to brush after every snack to prevent plaque accumulation. If not feasible, aim for at least four times daily:

  • After breakfast
  • After lunch
  • After dinner
  • Before bedtime

Select a soft-bristled toothbrush to minimize damage to wires and brackets. Apply a small strip of fluoride toothpaste and clean every tooth surface meticulously, including the front, sides, and chewing surfaces. Use gentle circular motions and a 45-degree angle to clean around braces, avoiding excessive force.

Utilize a proxabrush (Christmas tree brush) to clean between brackets, ensuring no plaque remains trapped. Conclude with mouthwash to rinse away residual bacteria.

Flossing Techniques:

Flossing is equally vital in preventing gum disease and tooth loss. While more time-consuming, it should be performed multiple times daily:

  • Use floss threaders or wrap floss around fingers.
  • Thread floss under the archwire and gently maneuver between teeth.
  • Move floss in an up-and-down motion against each tooth’s surface.
  • Exercise caution around brackets and wires to avoid damage.
  • Glide floss between teeth and gums, repeating several times.
  • Mild bleeding may occur initially but should subside; persistent bleeding warrants professional attention.
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