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.
Although flossing with braces is tricky, you can get the hang of it with practice. Use waxed floss when available because unwaxed floss can get caught in your braces and shred more easily. Thread the floss through a floss threader and carefully pull the floss threader under the archwire. Then pull the floss under the archwire as well and carefully thread between two teeth. Move the floss up and down gently against the side of each tooth. Remove the floss and repeat on the next tooth starting with threading the floss through the floss threader again.
Brushing your teeth when you have braces isn’t that much different than brushing your teeth without braces. The key is to brush thoroughly. Spend ample time gently brushing around each edge of every bracket. If your braces look clean and shiny and you can see the edges of the brackets clearly, you’ve done a good job! Rinse your mouth with water, or a mouth rinse, after brushing. When wearing braces you should brush your teeth after every meal. If you can’t actually brush with a toothbrush, then at least rinse your mouth out with water. Many patients find it beneficial to carry a travel toothbrush while in active treatment.
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