Taking good care of your teeth
Keeping your teeth, gums and orthodontic appliances clean is extremely important. Braces, wires, bands and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. The best way to prevent plaque, tooth decay and gum disease is to brush and floss after every meal and snack, and rinse with an antiseptic!
Foods to avoid
For the first day or so after you get your new braces, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
So, we advise our patients to avoid ANY and ALL of the following foods, no matter the temptation:
• Chewy foods like bagels, hard rolls and licorice
• Crunchy foods – even popcorn, ice and chips
• Sticky foods, including caramel and, yes, gum!
• Hard foods like nuts and ALL candy
• Foods you have to bite into, like corn on the cob, apples and carrots
Remember, too: Chewing on hard things (for example: pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage your braces. And damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
Step 1: Start with the outside of the teeth. Brush in a circular motion.
Step 2: Clean t he area between the gums & braces by angling the brush downward.
Step 3: Continue to clean the outside of the teeth – using circular motions.
Step 4: Carefully brush the chewing surface of both upper and lower jaw.
Step 5: Finish by brushing the inside of the teeth and rinse.
Click on this button to watch a video on brushing your teeth with braces.
Step 1: Start by pulling floss through the threader.
Step 2: Push the end of the floss threader under the arch wire and pull through.
Step 3: Pull floss up between the teeth (under the gums) and down.
Step 4: Pull the floss out and move on to a different tooth with a new section of the floss.
Please note: We recommend using an antiseptic dental rinse like Listerine after brushing and flossing.
This helps control minor gum inflammation and other irritations caused by orthodontic appliances.
It also helps to remove debris and promotes natural healing.
Click on this button to watch a video on flossing your teeth with braces.
Caring for your Retainer
No matter if you wear braces or are in retainers, they both collect food and plaque. So, every time you eat or snack, you need to brush your teeth and brush your retainer. Once a week you should also soak it in a glass of room-temperature water with a retainer-cleaning tablet such as Retainer Brite. This will help remove any excess plaque that could not be removed in brushing. It also prevents any oral infections and keeps the appliance tasting better. Do NOT use hot water in the soaking process as it can distort the appliance.
Click on this button to watch a video on caring for your retainers.