Having a clean mouth is important. It gives you fresh breath and a great smile. At Mibab Orthodontics, helping our patients protect their investment is one of our top priorities. Brushing and flossing remove a thin sticky film of bacteria that grows on your teeth. This sticky film, called plaque, is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean with braces. Food becomes caught in the brackets and between your teeth. Brushing after meals and flossing will help prevent plaque from forming and should become part of your daily schedule. Use a soft toothbrush and brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth in small circles above and below the brackets. You should brush for at least two minutes after every meal.Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray.We highly recommend using an electric or ultrasonic toothbrush like a Philips Sonicare or Oral-B Triumph which make brushing extremely effective when used consistently.WaterPiks are great at removing food debris and plaque from areas that your toothbrush cannot reach.If plaque remains on the teeth for an extended length of time, it can cause decay or decalcification seen as white spots on your teeth. Please continue to see your dentist every 3 to 4 months for regular dental cleanings.
Flossing with braces takes a few minutes to master, but the effort is well worth it. The first step to flossing is getting the floss under the wire that connects the braces together. A floss threader will help you get the dental floss underneath your archwires. Oral-B Superfloss is a dental floss with a stiff end which makes it easier to insert underneath archwires.
Once the floss is under the archwire it can be wrapped around the tooth on one side. The floss is then pushed up toward the gum line and then pulled down toward the wire. This should be repeated four to five times to ensure all plaque is removed. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the wire as you pull down. Then wrap the floss around the neighboring tooth. Once both teeth are done, the floss is pulled out and the process repeated for the next two teeth.
A Go-Between or Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush which looks like a small angled bristle brush. It may be used to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Interdental brushes work well, especially close to the gum line between the upper and lower front teeth.
Phos-Flur is a sodium fluoride gel or rinse that helps prevent tooth decay by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. Place a small amount of Phos-Flur gel on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute, then spit it out. You should not eat or drink for 30 minutes after you apply Phos-Flur.