Brushing and Flossing 101

A practical guide to brushing & flossing with braces

Brushing and flossing when wearing braces may present a new set of challenges, but with proper guidance, maintaining oral hygiene can be a breeze. Here are practical tips to make the process easier.

Brushing with Braces

1. Upgrade your Toothbrush: Switch out your old toothbrush for one with a small head and soft bristles. This allows for efficient cleaning around the braces.

2. Brushing Technique: Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle with circular motions above and below the brackets.

3. Replace Toothbrush Regularly: Braces wear out toothbrushes faster, so replace your brush as soon as the bristles become frayed or damaged.

4. Prevent White Scars: Plaque left behind can cause permanent white scars. Ensure you’re brushing multiple times a day to remove all plaque.

5. Regular Dental Check-ups: Keep up with your bi-annual dental appointments for professional cleanings.

6. Consider Investing in an Electric Toothbrush or Waterpik: These tools can make cleaning around braces easier.

Flossing with Braces

1. Choose the Right Floss: Waxed floss or dental tape is ideal for most patients with braces, as unwaxed floss can fray and break.

2. Flossing Technique: Thread the floss through the wire and between your teeth, then gently push it up towards the gum line. Avoid putting too much pressure on the wire.

3. Thorough Cleaning: Floss up and down along each tooth four or five times before moving to the next tooth.

4. Use a Floss Threader or Pre-cut Floss: If threading floss under the archwires proves difficult, a floss threader can help. Pre-cut floss with a stiff end provides a better grip and more control.

Remember, maintaining oral hygiene while wearing braces might seem daunting at first, but with these practical tips, you can ensure the health of your teeth and the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment.

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