Welcome to our Webster Orthodontic Family and our oral hygiene page!!! Now that you have your braces or invisalign, it will be harder for you to keep your teeth and gums clean. We need you to be successful with good oral hygiene because it is very important to maintain the health of your mouth as we straighten your teeth and help you get your beautiful smile. By following these simple guidelines, you and your kids will not only have a beautiful smile at the end of your treatment but a healthy one as well:
1. Minimize the amount of sugary foods we eat, such as candy, soda, gum, pastries, etc. Sugar can cause cavities and makes our gums swollen. So the less we eat, the better for our mouth.
2. Brush our teeth right after every meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Using our inter-proximal brush in addition to our toothbrush will help out with this. This will help remove the sugar from our mouth so that cavities don’t form and gums stay healthy. It will also help clean out any remaining food that may get stuck between our teeth and braces. So, our mouth will look better throughout the day.
3. Don’t snack throughout the day. This may constantly expose our teeth to cavity-forming foods.
4. Make sure to continue to get regular cleanings and exams from your dentist throughout your orthodontic treatment.
5. Every night before we go to bed, we need to do 4 things to thoroughly clean our, braces, teeth, and gums.
First, use our inter-proximal brush (see the 1st picture below) to clean out any big pieces of food so we have access to floss between each tooth
Second, floss between each tooth. Flossing is usually the hardest thing for patients to do because the wires tend to get in the way. Remember to be patient (it will get easier to do as you practice) and to use the floss threader (see the 2nd picture below). This will help us direct the floss better between the teeth and the wires (kind of like a sewing needle). We can brush our teeth a million times, but it won’t do the job that just flossing one time will do.
Third, rinse with Listerine for 2 minutes. Other brands of rinse are just not as strong as Listerine.
Lastly, brush with an electric toothbrush for 3 minutes. With an electric toothbrush, we don’t have to brush back-and-forth with our hands. The toothbrush brushes for us and with the right amount of pressure so that we don’t hurt the gums (which may cause gum recession). All we have to do is angle the head of the brush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line (see the 3rd picture below). This will help us clean around the braces.
* These cleaning steps may be easier to do if we have Invisalign instead of braces. Invisalign patients probably won’t need to use the inter-proximal brush and floss threaders.