Brushing & Flossing
When you brush:
Place the bristles of your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums
Make gentle brushing motions in a circular pattern
Brush the outer surface of your tooth enamel along with the areas that you use to chew
Use the upper portion of your toothbrush to clean the inner surfaces of each tooth
When you floss:
Use 18 inches of dental floss and wrap the ends around both index fingers
Gradually unravel the floss and thread it between your braces and archwire
Make a C-motion as you floss around your braces
Use the same motion in between each tooth
Repeat the technique for every area around your braces and through each tooth
For printable instructions, click [here].
Your teeth will maintain their health if you brush your teeth after every meal and floss once per day. Frequent brushing ensures that any remaining bacteria is removed every time you clean your teeth.
We also recommend that you avoid certain foods that may make it harder to clean your teeth. Sugary, sticky and chewy foods can become lodged in between or within the surface of the teeth and be difficult to remove.
If you are having trouble brushing or flossing efficiently, talk to an orthodontist about other tools you can use to remove plaque from your teeth. You will receive a two-minute timer that helps you allocate the appropriate amount of time to your teeth as you brush. It will also be necessary to use a floss threader in order to floss while in braces.
Before bed, we recommend that you use the timer and brush your upper teeth for two minutes and your lower teeth for two minutes. It may seem like an eternity, but getting all the plaque off your teeth before bed is critical due to your salivary flow decreasing at night and increasing your chances of tooth and gum problems if plaque is left on the teeth.
Taking care of your teeth while in braces will help ensure you have the best smile possible when it’s time for your braces to come off! If you would like more information about the orthodontic services we provide, including your options with braces, contact Charleston Orthodontic Specialists today at 843-642-8100 to schedule an appointment for your free exam.