Dr. Lee Boyd Pediatric Dentistry in Allen, Paintsville, & Pikeville, KY
Taking care of your teeth while you have braces doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s now more important than ever to be diligent about your oral hygiene. Dr. Boyd at Dr. Lee Boyd Pediatric Dentistry has provided a guide for you to be able to refer to when keeping good oral health. It’s easier for food to get stuck in your teeth when you have all that wiring and metal in your mouth. As long as you continue to brush and floss often, you can have healthy teeth while you are going through the orthodontic process.
Brushing With Braces
Brushing with braces is a little more complicated than brushing your teeth without braces and requires a little more attention. First, make sure your toothbrush has soft bristles. Use a small amount of preferably fluoride toothpaste. Move the brush in small circular motions, pointed toward the gum line. Brush all surfaces of your teeth and braces. Be careful not to swallow any toothpaste. It will take a bit longer to reach all of the surfaces than it would without braces, but the effort will be worth it. Rinse your mouth out with water thoroughly after brushing. Because you will wear your toothbrush out faster by brushing metal, you will need to replace your toothbrush more often. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before the final rinse. Below are the most important times to brush your teeth:
- In the morning after breakfast
- After lunch or right after school
- After supper
- At bedtime
An interdental toothbrush is also a great choice. A Proxabrush is a toothbrush that cleans underneath and around the wires and braces. It gets the in between places better than a regular toothbrush. If you have questions about this product, ask Dr. Boyd for more information.
Flossing With Braces
Flossing with braces adds an extra element of difficulty. You will still be using dental floss to remove food particles like you would without braces. However, you will use a floss threader provided by Dr. Boyd. You will pull the desired length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. Be careful when flossing around your archwire. Do not apply too much pressure on the wire. If you don’t have a floss threader at the time, you can try threading the floss through without it but it will be more difficult.
The most important time to floss is at night before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing around your braces, there may be a little bit of bleeding. If bleeding does not stop after the first couple of flosses, let us know at your next appointment. Flossing will take more time when wearing braces but if you have patience with this process, you will have not only straight teeth when you’re braces come off, but healthy teeth as well.
Rinsing With An Antibacterial Mouthwash
Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash is a great way to get a clean mouth. We recommend using Peroxyl is a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse that reduces inflammation for your cheeks and gums. It also helps to prevent any infection and helps with irritation. Use two teaspoons which is the equivalent to half a capful. Swoosh it around your mouth for about one minute and spit it out. This can be done four times a day after brushing, after meals, or before bed. Think of Peroxl like peroxide that helps your injuries heal. Peroxyl helps heal the inside of your mouth. It can also be used for canker sores, cheek bites, or other minor injuries.
Cleaning Your Removable Appliance/Retainer
If you have a removable appliance like Invisalign or a retainer that you need to care for, make sure to brush it every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing routine. Food particles and plaque can stick to the appliance just like they do with your teeth. Dr. Lee Boyd recommends soaking the appliance daily in a glass of water with Polident or Efferdent at room temperature. This will also keep from making a bad taste in your mouth.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is the type of food you’re eating with your braces. During the first week of your braces, your teeth will be a bit sore in getting used to the new addition. Eat soft foods until your teeth feel better. After this time, you are free to eat anything except hard foods like ice and pizza crust. Sticky foods like licorice and caramels should also be avoided. Keep in mind that foods high in sugar can be dangerous to your overall oral hygiene.
We hope all of this information is helpful for you during your orthodontic treatment. If you have any further questions about keeping good oral health with braces, give us a call. Dr. Lee Boyd is here to help! Make an appointment at our office in the Allen, Pikeville, Prestonburg, and Paintsville, KY areas!