Published on May 3, 2016, Updated on November 13, 2017
During orthodontic treatment, it is especially important to take care of your dental appliance through proper maintenance and good oral hygiene habits. With the addition of brackets and wires in your mouth, food particles are more likely to get stuck. This can lead to other dental issues if proper care is not taken. Below are a few important tips to remember. If you have any questions about maintenance for your braces, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
- Brush after every meal. Because your braces can easily attract and trap food particles, brushing after each meal can help prevent staining and reduce the potential for bacteria buildup.
- Brush with proper technique. To brush teeth with a regular soft brush, brush down from the top, then up from the bottom on each tooth with a bracket.
- Use a threadable floss or a floss threader. (If using a floss threader, thread regular floss through the eye of the threader, the same way you would with a sewing needle and thread.) Using the small or pointed end, insert the floss or floss threader between the teeth, but below the archwire. Gently move it back and forth until it is able to thread the floss between the teeth. Once in place, you can floss the two teeth on either side of where you have inserted the floss, taking care not to apply force or pressure against the archwire. Repeat between all teeth.
- Use a Proxabrush. After brushing with a toothbrush, use a proxabrush, commonly referred to as a “Christmas tree brush,” to clean between each bracket. Place the proxabrush between two brackets, below the archwire, brushing up and down. After several strokes, repeat this motion by inserting the brush from the opposite side (either down from the top or up from the bottom).