Now that you are wearing your fixed brace, it is essential that you maintain a high standard of oral hygiene throughout your treatment.
TOOTHBRUSHES & INTERSPACE TOOTHBRUSHES
During your orthodontic treatment you must brush your braces and teeth at least a minimum of four times a day - after every meal and morning and night. Use two different types of toothbrush to do this, a regular toothbrush and an interspace toothbrush (small headed brush).
Use the regular toothbrush firstly to remove all the food and plaque for 3-5 minutes. Use short, fast and firm forwards and backwards motions and make sure you brush above and below your brace to clean your gum lines. Then use the interspace toothbrush(small headed brush) to get through all the areas missed by the large headed toothbrush. You do this by firmly brushing so that the bristles spread out in-between the wires, brackets and gum margins. Be sure no food or plaque is left on the braces or teeth as this will cause permanent damage.
It is important to remember to take a toothbrush and interspace brush with you when you go out of your home so that you can always clean your teeth after every meal. A travel toothbrush and a travel interspace toothbrush will make this easier for you.
To ensure you are cleaning your teeth well we recommend the use of disclosing tablets. The tablets highlight where plaque has developed on the teeth and around the gum line. Using the tablets to show the plaque will allow you to concentrate on brushing the specific areas to reduce the damaging plaque build up.
How to use disclosing tablets:
- Place a disclosing tablet in your mouth.
- Chew thoroughly with just saliva, spread it all over tooth and gum surfaces with your tongue, until your mouth has been completely covered with disclosing dye.
- Spit out the saliva.
- Rinse your mouth out with water.
- Areas of plaque will be stained by the dye and will show you where you are missing and not brushing properly.
- Brush your teeth until the dye has been removed, then concentrate on those areas the next time you brush.
- We recommend you do this once a week.
Use the dental mirror to familiarise yourself with the different parts of your brace and regularly check it so that you are aware if something comes loose or breaks. You can also use the dental mirror to check for any food or plaque that may be stuck behind or around the teeth which was missed when brushing. It is also useful for checking for plaque on your back teeth when you use the disclosing tablets.
Fluoride mouthwash must be used at least once a day, morning or evening after brushing, or more often if you prefer.
FLOSS AND THREADERS
It is important to regularly floss your teeth to maintain healthy gum lines, threaders will allow you to continue to do this throughout your treatment. They are flexible so that you can thread floss through them then move around the wires on the brace allowing you to push the floss between the teeth to clean as normal.
To prevent the brace from rubbing against the inside of your lips and mouth you may need to apply wax. You do this by pulling off a pea-sized amount of wax, rolling it into a soft ball and then moulding it around the bracket that is rubbing. The wax becomes the barrier between your brace and the sore area and stops it rubbing allowing the mouth to heal. Don’t worry if you swallow the wax as it is harmless and be aware that if you have a hot drink when wearing wax it will probably melt!