Braces create small ledges, nooks, and crannies for food deposits, which can lead to cavities and gum problems. This makes good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, even more important while you are wearing braces. When you brush and floss, handle your appliances carefully so you won’t break or loosen them. Following these brushing and eating tips will keep your appliances and your smile healthy.
Be sure to brush your teeth immediately after every meal and before you go to bed. It’s best to use a fluoride toothpaste to help fight cavities. Dr. Koen may prescribe a fluoride toothpaste for this reason. Try to brush like this:
Because your toothbrush won’t reach between your teeth, brushing alone won’t keep your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing can help. A floss threader, available from our office or a pharmacy, helps you floss with braces on. Floss once a day, like this:
We highly recommend a water pic in order to achieve good oral hygiene, especially for those with functional appliances such as expanders or CBJ (Herbst) appliance. Be thorough but try not to shoot the water directly under the gum.
Use a fluoridated toothpaste. Dr. Koen may prescribe a fluoride toothpaste if necessary.
You should be brushing at least three times a day — once at breakfast, at lunch, and before you go to bed. If you are not able to brush after you eat, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water, and NEVER skip brushing at night before you go to bed.
While you are wearing braces, you can eat almost all of your favorite foods. However, we recommend that you follow these tips to protect your teeth and braces: