You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean with braces. Food compacts in the brackets and between your teeth, and can only be removed by brushing and flossing. If plaque remains on the teeth for any length of time, it will leave a permanent white scar on the surface. Brushing after meals should become part of your daily schedule. Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure and brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth; brush in small circles above and below the brackets. Click here for visual instructions. Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A Waterpik can be a useful addition but it cannot remove the sticky plaque that adheres to the teeth. Oral B and Sonicare electric toothbrushes are great. Flossing is important and should be done every day. The use of ìSuperflossî makes flossing easier than traditional floss.
Oral Hygiene Overview
For a brief overview of oral hygiene tips, please click on the image below. It will launch our flash educational module in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about oral hygiene.
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Please do not eat hard foods: nuts, ice, crisp taco shells, whole apples and carrots (cut them into pieces first), hard French bread crust and rolls, spareribs, corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating), and popcorn! These foods risk breaking brackets and wires. Also beware of nail biting and pen or pencil chewing habits, since these can damage your braces. Do not eat sticky foods: taffy, caramels, bubble gum, or sticky candy of any sort. Use common sense about most foods.
Apples (unless cut into bite sized pieces)
Corn on the Cob (unless cut off the cob)
Uncooked Carrots (unless cut into bite sized pieces)
Minimize Sugar Intake
Eat Much Less
Foods with Sugar
Drink Much Less
Drinks with Sugar
Orthodontic Brushing and Flossing
Brush after every meal.
(pictures are displayed on website corresponding to the instructions)
Use a toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste.
Use circular, vibrating motions around the gumline for about 10 seconds on each tooth.
Brush every tooth slowly.
Brush the lower teeth up and the upper teeth down. Also brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
Floss nightly after brushing to remove the plaque missed by brushing.
Carefully pull superfloss between wire and braces.
Floss carefully around the braces.
Floss carefully around the gum area.
Floss around each tooth.