Keeping your braces clean is a big job, but is extremely important in ensuring your treatment goes as planned, and your teeth are healthy when we remove your braces.
Failing to brush and floss your teeth will result in a number of issues. These can include:
Inflamed gums / Gum disease
Decalcification (white marks on teeth)
Removal of braces before completion of treatment
It is important to remember:
FOOD + BACTERIA = ACID
ACID + TEETH + TIME = CAVITIES
Dr. Agapas will let you know how you are doing with your brushing and flossing at each visit, but it is your job to make sure you are keeping them clean.
It is important to keep an eye on both your teeth and your gums when determining if you have done a good job keeping them clean.
Your teeth and braces should be clear of any food and plaque.
Your gums should not be swollen and should be light pink in colour.
If you are noticing any swelling, redness, or tenderness in your gums, this is a clear sign you have not been brushing and flossing well enough. This will make brushing and flossing uncomfortable because your gums have been irritated, but it is important you thoroughly clean in order to make your gums happy again.
PUT THEM TO THE TEST
A great way to tell if your oral hygiene needs work is by using the scale below. Have a good look at your gums in the mirror, and compare them to these photos. If your gums match any of the photos with an X you need to spend more time on brushing and flossing.
DON'T BE THIS PERSON!
This is the result of leaving food and bacteria stuck on your teeth and braces. This is damage that has been done to your teeth and is difficult and in some cases impossible to have reversed.
BRUSHING & FLOSSING INSTRUCTIONS
STEP ONE: THE PROXIBRUSH
USE THE PROVIDED PROXIBRUSH TO CLEAN UNDER THE WIRE AND BETWEEN THE BRACKETS. MAKE SURE TO SCRUB THE SIDES OF EACH BRACKET WHILE YOU ARE IN THERE TO GET ANYTHING THAT MAY BE STUCK.
TIP: BEND THE END OF THE BRUSH AS NEEDED TO GET INTO SOME OF THE HARD TO REACH AREAS.
IF YOU ARE USING FLOSS THREADERS, BEGIN BY THREADING YOUR FLOSS THROUGH THE LOOP END.
TIP: TYING THE FLOSS IN A KNOT WILL PREVENT IT FROM FALLING OUT OF THE THREADER.
STEP TWO: THE FLOSS THREADER
STEP THREE: THREADING THE FLOSS
THREAD THE STRAIGHT END OF THE FLOSS THREADER UNDER THE WIRE ENOUGH THAT YOU CAN GRAB THE END WITH YOUR OTHER HAND AND PULL THROUGH UNTIL THE THREADER IS OUT FROM UNDER THE WIRE.
IF YOU ARE NOT USING A FLOSS THREADER YOU WILL COMPLETE THIS STEP USING THE END OF THE FLOSS.
STEP FOUR: FLOSSING
NOW THAT THE FLOSS IS POSITIONED UNDER THE WIRE, YOU WILL THEN BE ABLE TO SLIDE THE FLOSS BETWEEN THE TEETH AS YOU NORMALLY WOULD.
TIP: GLIDE THE FLOSS ALONG THE SIDES OF THE TEETH IN AN UP AND DOWN MOTION INSTEAD OF GOING BACK AND FORTH. THIS WILL HELP AVOID ANY TRAUMA TO YOUR GUMS.
STEP FIVE: BRUSHING THE BRACKETS
ONCE YOU HAVE BRUSHED ALL OF THE SURFACES OF THE TEETH THAT DON'T HAVE THE BRACES ON THEM LIKE YOU NORMALLY WOULD, YOU THEN WANT TO BRUSH THE BRACES. MAKE SURE TO GO OVER EACH SIDE OF THE BRACKETS (TOP, BOTTOM AND FRONT) A FEW TIMES.
TIP: HOLDING THE BRUSH AT AN ANGLE (PICTURED) WILL HELP WITH BRUSHING THE TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE BRACKETS.
DON'T HESITATE TO ASK AT YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT! OR YOU CAN ALWAYS CALL OR EMAIL THE OFFICE IN THE MEANTIME. WE WOULD BE HAPPY TO ANSWER THEM FOR YOU.