Brushing with Braces
Now that you have braces, your teeth are more difficult to clean, so you have to be very careful to keep those new braces clean. You should brush your teeth properly after every meal and snack. Always keep your toothbrush handy, you should even be brushing at school or work after lunch. You will also need to replace your toothbrush more often, since the braces will make it wear out quicker.
Flossing with Braces
Flossing with braces is a bit on the tricky side, so it takes a few minutes to perfect. But don’t give up, flossing is very important to the health of your teeth.
The interdental brush is especially good in cleaning the tooth surface next to the braces.
The water jet is an effective tool to remove plaque and debris lodged deep between teeth and around braces. The water jet shoots a pulsing stream of water that dislodges remaining food particles. Adding an antiseptic dental rinse to the water is recommended. Use the water jet after your regular brushing and flossing routine.
An antiseptic dental rinse (Peroxyl) should be used after every meal (at least 4 times a day) to control minor gum inflammation and irritations that might arise from orthodontic treatment.
A fluoride rinse helps prevent tooth decay by killing harmful bacteria and replenishing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. Rinsing does not replace brushing. You should rinse after brushing and flossing.
Caring for your Retainer
Retainers, just like your teeth collect plaque, bacteria and food particles. You should clean your retainer every day! Keep your retainer soaking when it is not in your mouth. Use a mouthwash rinse or denture cleaning agent to freshen it up and keep it free of bacteria. Keep your retainer away from heat; the plastic can crack if it gets too dry or too hot. Try not to bend the wires; flipping your retainer in your mouth can do this.
The braces may feel a little awkward at first and the teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal and will go away soon. It may feel as though the braces are “sticking out,” but this sensation will also soon pass. Small pieces of orthodontic wax may be used if the brackets irritate cheek tissues. The orthodontic office always has extra wax in case you run out so call them if you need more.
Many patients will experience some discomfort at first, but the soreness will go away within the first few days or even hours of getting braces. However, it is impossible to predict exactly when the tenderness will end.