Oral Hygiene is an Essential Component of Your Health

proper oral hygieneBoth cavities and gum disease are caused by slimy film we call plaque accumulation on the teeth and gums. The plaque is made of millions of germs called bacteria. The plaque must be removed everyday to prevent cavities and white etching lines from developing around your braces.

This can be done best with the following proper brushing and flossing methods:

Teeth should be brushed three times a day (you must brush in the morning and before bed) but preferably brush after every meal. We recommend a soft-bristle brush . Proper brushing should take at least 2 minutes, so don’t rush it. The goal is to not miss any areas, so establish a pattern. Scrub only 2 to 3 teeth at a time. Place the bristles on the tooth between the braces and gum. Concentrate on cleaning the edges of the gums. This is the most important area to keep clean so you can avoid cavities and puffy gums.

Flossing will remove the plaque that accumulates between your teeth. This takes considerable time but is well worth your time. Improper brushing and flossing could result in enlarged or “puffy” gums and may result in permanent “white spots” left on your teeth following the removal of your braces. These “white spots” are areas of decalcification or beginnings of cavities and could be permanent. They ruin an otherwise good orthodontic result. Before bed and after thorough brushing we recommend rinsing with a fluoride rinse (Phosflur or Act) to further help prevent decay. Eating or drinking will ruin the fluoride’s effectiveness.

See you family dentist for regular check-ups. During your orthodontic treatment, we usually recommend 3-6 month intervals for cleanings, but your dentist will discuss with you what he or she feels is best.

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