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If you want a successful orthodontic experience, it is very important to spend the time each day cleaning and caring for your teeth. Orthodontists today strongly recommend participating in a daily oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth healthy and strong while your braces are transforming your smile. To ensure that you have the best oral health possible throughout your orthodontic treatment, it is recommended to include the following steps in your oral hygiene routine:

1. Prepare to brush: Before you begin brushing your teeth, make sure to remove any rubber bands or removable parts of your appliance.

2. Brush: While using a strong and efficient toothbrush, thoroughly clean each tooth by scrubbing around the pins, wires, and brackets. It is also wise to spend at least 10 seconds cleaning each tooth, removing any debris, excess food, and plaque.

3. Floss: Flossing with braces can be a little tricky. To make things a bit easier, your orthodontist will give you the proper tools you need to floss with braces, like a floss threader. When flossing, you will feed one end of the floss between the wire and the tooth. Then, gently push the floss between the teeth, scraping the sides and removing any food that may be stuck.

4. Rinse: When you are finished brushing and flossing your teeth, it is wise to use fluoride or bacteria-killing mouthwash to rinse your mouth. Take a small sip of the rinse, swish it around in your mouth, and spit it out into the sink after about 40 seconds.

It is also important to refrain from eating the following foods while your teeth shift and change:

• Foods that are hard to bite, like bagels, apples, and corn on the cob
• Foods that are sticky and chewy, like taffy and caramel
• Popcorn
• Nuts
• Pretzels
• Ice
• Carrots
• Bubble Gum

If you have any questions regarding the proper care and cleaning of your teeth while you have braces, we encourage you to call our office today and talk to a member of our orthodontic team. We are happy to help you have the strong, healthy, and beautiful smile you deserve!