Oral Hygiene

Now that you have taken the time to invest in your smile, cooperation with orthodontic instruction and proper oral care are key to walking away with a beautiful, healthy smile.

We understand that caring for your teeth can be challenging when you have braces. This means focusing on oral hygiene is more important than ever before. Food and plaque can get trapped in the tiny spaces between braces and wires. This may cause decay, staining, or a reaction between food, bacteria and the metal in the braces, which may cause small light spots on your teeth. Patients with braces should brush their teeth at least four times each day. You should do so after each meal and before going to bed each night. We will show each patient proper flossing techniques with braces.

You should continue your routine checkups with your dentist while receiving orthodontic care. Your dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

We strongly recommend wearing a mouth guard while participating in any sports.

You should avoid eating foods that may damage or become stuck in your braces such as hard, chewy or sticky candies, gum, popcorn and chips. Use caution with crunchy or chewy foods such as bagels, apples and carrots. It is best to cut these into smaller pieces. Avoid soda and sugary drinks. Do not chew on ice, pencils or your fingernails.

Peroxyl is a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse that will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks. Peroxyl helps to prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of Peroxyl (half a capful) for one minute and then spit it out. You may use Peroxyl up to four times a day following your tooth brushing. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, Peroxyl helps the inside of your mouth heal. You may use it for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor temporary injuries to the gums.

Phos-Flur is a sodium fluoride gel that helps prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. The use of Phos-Flur does not replace daily brushing and flossing, but should be done following your daily bedtime tooth brushing. Place a small strip of Phos-Flur on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. You may not eat or drink for 30 minutes after you use Phos-Flur. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes.