Oral Hygiene Care

ORAL HYGIENE CARE DURING BRACES

It won’t take long to realize how easily braces collect food when you eat. And soon after you will realize soon how hard it is to brush and keep your teeth clean with braces on. YOU HAVE TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH WHEN YOU HAVE BRACES. Please pay close attention to the detailed oral hygiene instructions we will give you when the braces are placed. If you have any questions please ask. A summary of these instructions is provided below.

DECALCIFICATION – BRACES DON’T GIVE YOU WHITE SPOTS, POOR BRUSHING AND HAVING A SUGARY AND ACIDIC DIET DO!

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They’ve been called “white spots”, a “brace tan” among other things but no matter what you call it these are permanent markings on your teeth that never go away. These can be totally avoided by good hygiene and limiting acidic and sugary things in your diet. BUT THEY CAN OCCUR IN JUST A FEW SHORT WEEKS!!!! Unfortunately when your gums are overgrown and braces are on your teeth it is hard for the dentist or the orthodontist to detect the spots until after the braces come off.

DR DIGIOVANNI WILL STOP YOUR TREATMENT IF HE SEES WHITE SPOTS ON YOUR TEETH

SOFT DRINKS ARE BAD BUT..IT IS NOT JUST SODA

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GATORADE AND SPORT DRINKS ARE JUST AS BAD (RED BULL, MONSTER ROCK STAR ARE EVEN WORSE!)

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ALMOST NOTHING IS WORSE THAN SOUR CANDY!

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HOW TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING TO YOU

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QUITE SIMPLY PRACTICE GOOD ORAL HYGIENE:

  • Brush for at least 2 minutes after every meal
  • Use an electric toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • If you can’s brush, rinse or drink water
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Reduce sport drink, energy drink and soda intake
  • Avoid foods high in sugar and artificial flavors or colors (absolutely NO SOUR CANDY)
  • See your dentist every 4 months while you are wearing braces

THAT IS IT!

STEP 1: TOOTH BRUSHING

Dr. DiGiovanni recommends electric (rotary or sonic) toothbrushes as we have observed most patients who use electric brushes with a built-in 2 minute timer seem to maintain better hygiene while wearing braces.

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Brushing Instructions: You should brush after every meal but you MUST brush at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes. If you cannot brush you should rinse and swish your teeth. It's best to use a timer to make sure you are brushing long enough:

PROPER BRUSHING TECHNIQUE:

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Pay special attention to the DANGER ZONEs which are the areas between your brackets and your gums.

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STEP 2: USE A PROXABRUSH UNDER THE WIRE

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When you’ve finished using your regular brush, we recommend a proxabrush, like the one we gave you. This may help you more effectively clean between individual brackets or areas if you are concerned your regular brush isn’t enough. Insert the brush from the top of the wire between two brackets and then repeat from the bottom.

STEP 3: FLOSSING

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Floss once a day after brushing. With braces you will have to use a flossing aid like Super Floss, Floss-threaders or other over the counter products available.


STEP 4: FLUORIDE RINSE

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Over-the-counter rinses like the sample of ACT we provided you the day your braces were placed to help protect and strengthen teeth during orthodontic treatment. This should be the done after brushing and flossing are completed.

STEP 5: GRADE YOURSELF-BE AN “A STUDENT”!

brushing report card

Click on image to view PDF

Your braces should be shiny with no food or debris. Your gums must be pink and firm (as opposed to red). THAT IS AN A+. What is your grade?

Photo07STEP 6: SEE YOUR DENTIST EVERY 3-4 MONTHS WHILE WEARING BRACES

We get asked a lot, “Do I need to see my dentist while wearing braces”? THE ANSWER IS YES. Be sure to see your dentist even more frequently while wearing braces for cleanings and cavity exams.

 

USING PREVIDENT OR OTHER PRESCRIPTION TOOTH PASTES

If you are prescribed a prescription toothpaste:

If hygiene is poor Dr. DiGiovanni will prescribe a prescription toothpaste that is stronger than over-the-counter brands and is an additional defense to prevent decalcification, cavities and other bad things that can happen if you don't properly take care of your teeth while you have braces.

  1. Place a pea-size amount of toothpaste on your brush and brush as instructed.
  2. When finished brushing, SPIT OUT BUT DO NOT RINSE WITH WATER.

For over-the-counter brands, make sure it has the ADA seal of approval.