So the wait is finally over and you now have braces. You hear the staff explain how to brush, floss and rinse, but you just brush it off because you’ve heard it all before. Who really brushes their teeth 3 times a day anyway, right? WRONG! Proper oral hygiene is as important as showering and changing your underpants. You wouldn’t go too long without doing either of those, would you? So why skip out on cleaning your mouth? All day long bacteria feed on the gas and acid produced by sugary drinks and food, especially while you’re sleeping. This is where plaque, puffy gums, and bad breath come from. The best way to make sure your orthodontic treatment runs smoothly is to make sure your oral hygiene regimen is being implemented daily.
Use a tooth brush with soft bristles at a 45 degree angle down towards the brackets to make sure the surface under the wire is being cleaned. Use a circular motion brushing at a 45 degree angle towards your gums to clean and stimulate them.
Use a floss threader to pull the floss below to wire so that you are able to floss properly. You may want to carry around an interproximal brush, or a proxy brush, with you. This looks like a small pipe cleaner on a stick and is used to brush below the wires and in between the brackets. Great for on-the-go cleaning that can be done anywhere!
It is also very important to rinse with a fluoride mouth wash to strengthen teeth. This will make them more resistant to plaque, tooth decay, and cavities. You may use household items for rinsing as well. Salt water is a great remedy to soothe inflamed and aggravated gums. Another home remedy for inflammation is baking soda. Make a paste using water and rub this along the gum line.
There is no need for puffy gums and white stains to hold you back! Start practicing these habits daily to see the change for yourself! Always feel free to ask your White Plains or Yonkers Orthodontist for guidance on your next visit.