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Brushing & Flossing with Braces

Orthodontic Treatment in Deerfield, IL

Everyone deserves a smile they're proud of, and at Jarosz & Valente Orthodontics, our mission is to help each of our patients achieve one. As a leading orthodontic practice serving the Deerfield and Arlington Heights, IL areas, we're proud to offer a wide variety of orthodontic treatments ranging from braces to ClearCorrect aligners, and we work with our patients to individually customize every treatment plan. But how you care for your teeth at home is just as important as the treatment we provide in our office, and brushing and flossing are foundational to your dental and orthodontic health.

How to Brush with Braces

Brushing is one of the cornerstones of proper oral hygiene, and it's even more important when you're wearing braces. During treatment, you should brush your teeth 4 times per day: once after every meal, and once before bed. We'd recommend a soft-bristled or bi-level toothbrush, although an electric toothbrush can also work well if set to a moderate power level. To brush effectively, you'll need to brush for at least two minutes each time, making sure to hit every area of exposed tooth surface.

Technique is critical to effective brushing, so here's the brushing technique we'd recommend: starting on the front of your teeth, place the tips of the bristles flat against the teeth and scrub in small, circular motions to clean them. Tilt the brush towards the gum line and use the same technique to clean the spaces between brackets and teeth, then use a back-and-forth motion to clean the chewing surfaces (tops) of the teeth. Finally, thoroughly brush the back surfaces of the teeth using the same technique you did for the front.

Tools for Brushing with Braces

In addition to a standard toothbrush, you may want to use some extra tools to help ensure your teeth stay clean and healthy.

One of the most useful is an interdental toothbrush, which has a small, conical tuft of bristles that resembles a pipe cleaner. These are perfect for cleaning the tiny spaces under archwires and dislodging small bits of food from your braces.

You may also want to use an oral irrigator, also called a "water pick." These use a small, pressurized jet of water to clean between the teeth, helping to dislodge food particles that are trapped in the nooks and crannies of teeth and braces. Oral irrigators are an excellent supplement to your oral hygiene regimen, but remember that they're no replacement for brushing or flossing.

Finally, using "disclosing solutions" or "disclosing tablets" can be a great way to check if you're using effective oral hygiene or you need to be a bit more diligent. These are specially-formulated vegetable dyes that highlight plaque and food debris, identifying the areas of your mouth where you need to be more diligent with your oral hygiene.

Flossing with Braces

Flossing is another cornerstone to oral hygiene, and you'll need to floss at least once a day with braces, preferably before bed each night. To properly floss your braces, you'll need to use a floss threader: a small plastic loop with a pointed end. To use it, thread a length of floss through the 'eye' of the floss threader, then pass the long end underneath an archwire and pull it through so the floss is threaded underneath the wire. From there, you can floss that set of teeth normally, and you simply need to repeat the process for the rest of your teeth.

Contact Your Arlington Heights, IL Orthodontists

Oral hygiene is absolutely critical to successful orthodontic treatment and the long-term health of your smile, and by maintaining a strong oral hygiene routine, you're helping to ensure you get the smile you've been dreaming of. Feel free to contact us if you have more questions about oral hygiene with braces or any other aspect of the treatment process. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve a gorgeous new smile!

Jarosz & Valente Orthodontics, P.C.

  • Arlington Heights Office - 3430 N. Old Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights, IL 60004 Phone: 847-632-1030 Fax: 847-632-1041
  • Deerfield Office - 720 Osterman Ave., Suite 201, Deerfield, IL 60015 Phone: 847-945-3700 Fax: 847-945-3277

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