Brushing your teeth is even more important when you are wearing braces. Food can get stuck on your braces and cause staining, tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Here are some suggestions on when and how to brush your teeth.

Type of Toothbrush: You can use any brand of toothbrush you like. Try to buy one that is soft and has lots of bristles. Change your toothbrush often, no less than every three months. Toothbrushes are cheap compared to cavities.

If you prefer to use an electric toothbrush, that is fine. Braun, Interplak, and SonicCare all make effective electric toothbrushes. Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric is a person choice. Properly used, all are effective. If you choose an electric, remember that the brush heads need to be changed as frequently as a manual toothbrush, so keep several spares on hand. A worn out head is ineffective and will not remove plaque properly.

Type of Toothpaste: You should choose a toothpaste that will motivate you to brush. Avoid frequent use of whitening toothpaste. Any toothpaste that has fluoride is preferred. Fluoride can protect and rebuild your tooth structure. Please ask as for a PreviDent 500 Plus prescription when you come in for your appointment.

Flossing: Flossing while you are wearing braces is more difficult, but well worth it. You will need a floss threader in order to floss more easily. You can get these at any drugstore, or just ask as to give you one. But remember, the most important step in good oral hygiene is to brush a lot.

Dental Maintenance: We ask that you see your dentist for a cleaning at least every six month; more frequent visits would be preferable. Maintaining ideal hygiene with braces is very difficult even for a very diligent brusher.

Frequency of Brushing: Brush at least five times a day following this schedule:

  • As soon as you wake up, brush really well (at least five minutes). Plaque has had all night to build up on your teeth. Do this before you get dressed or eat breakfast so you won’t be rushed.
  • After breakfast, give a quick brush. This is to remove breakfast from your teeth.
  • After work/school, brush really well again. Plaque has been sitting on your teeth since the morning.
  • After dinner, another quickie.
  • Before you go to bed, scrub them good. Now is the time to floss if you want to.

The schedule we have suggested takes very little time. Keeping your teeth clean will eliminate bad breath, damage to your teeth, bone loss, gum infection, and will speed up the removal of your braces. If you have any question, please be sure to ask one of us.