The American Dental Association
recommends the following for good oral hygiene:
- If you have braces, rinse your mouth out with water first to clear and loose particles out of your teeth or braces.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep breath fresh.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth and they just don’t look very pretty either. Be sure not to over-brush your teeth or brush too hard! This is known as toothbrush abrasion and can lead to receding gums and sensitive teeth as it wears down tooth enamel.
- Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Bacteria that cause tooth decay can linger where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. This can help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. Reducing the possibility of cavities and gum disease.
- Avoid any teeth whitening products such as whitening toothpaste or whitening mouthwash. This is due to the whitening agent only working on the parts of the tooth that are exposed and not penetrating the part of the tooth that is covered by the braces. This can cause discoloration of the tooth.
- Use mouthwash to keep your mouth healthy by reducing inflammation in your gums and cheeks as well as helping prevent infection and decrease irritation that may occur with braces.
We suggest visiting your dentist regularly for professional dental cleanings and oral exams throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment.