Oral Hygiene

Interdental Toothbrush

A Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Use the Proxabrush gently to avoid damaging your wires. The Proxabrush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Antibacterial Mouthwash

Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, 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 daily following your schedule for brushing: after meals (or after school) and before bed. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, Peroxyl helps the inside of your mouth heal. Peroxyl can be used for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor temporary injuries to the gums.

Topical Fluoride

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 schedule at bedtime. 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, so do not wash it away by eating or drinking.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

Brush your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak the appliance daily. Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature and soak your appliance once every day. Your appliance will taste better, and you will prevent plaque and bacterial accumulation.

Toothbrushing Instructions Review

Let’s review a few important points we talked about in the office today:

  • Clean braces are bright and shiny. Dirty braces are covered with a white, milky film of bacteria called plaque.
  • Plaque causes tooth decay, bad breath, swollen gums and eventual gum disease. As plaque builds up along the gumline, bacterial irritants cause your gum tissues to become red, puffy, and sore. Sometimes they will bleed.
  • Gums that bleed or swell have not been thoroughly brushed. Brush between the gums and the braces to massage gums and disrupt bacteria.

The best methods for removing plaque are tooth and gum brushing, flossing and fluoride rinses. This daily oral hygiene home care program takes time – your time. But, it can also shorten the time you have to wear your braces and reduces the risk of developing white spots on your teeth.

A few reminders:

  • Brush a minimum of four times per day – after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and before you go to bed.
  • Brush first with water, then brush again with a small amount of toothpaste.
  • Floss once a day. Use a proxibrush to clean under the wires.
  • Never sit down in a treatment chair unless your teeth are clean. Braces and appliances cannot be adjusted properly when they’re dirty.
  • Clean teeth move faster than dirty teeth.

OKAY…now it is up to you!
Please call if you have any questions or need help.