Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is especially important when you have braces, and you may need to visit your Calgary dentist more often than usual for check-ups or professional cleanings.

To properly clean your teeth you should brush and floss regularly. In some circumstances, it may also be beneficial to use an interdental toothbrush (such as a Proxabrush), antiseptic mouth rinse (like Peroxyl) and topical fluoride (such as Phos-Flur). We will provide many of these things at your next appointment, don’t forget to stock up!

Brushing

  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride
  • Place your toothbrush at an angle so you feel the bristles under your gum line
  • For manual toothbrushes: brush in small circular motions
  • For electric toothbrushes: slowly guide the toothbrush along your teeth and braces, making sure not to miss your gum line
  • Completely clean each surface of every tooth
  • Don’t miss the areas above, below and between each brace
  • Brushing should take 2-3 minutes

We recommend that you brush at least four times per day: after breakfast, after lunch (or as soon as you get home from school), after supper and at bedtime. Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your braces, so be sure to replace it when the bristles start to fray.

Flossing

Flossing is more difficult when you have braces, so re-usable floss threaders may be needed to get under the archwire. We will provide these for you.

Using a piece of floss about 12” long (the length of a ruler), and your threader, slide the floss up and down the side surface of each tooth and in between your teeth and gums. Be careful not to pull with too much force against your archwire, and clean each tooth until the floss “squeaks”.

Flossing should be done at least once per day, preferably at bedtime, and always after brushing your teeth. If your gums aren’t healthy they may bleed a little bit the first few times, but this should improve (if you don’t see improvement in your gum health as a result of flossing be sure to talk to your dentist).

Interdental Toothbrush

An interdental toothbrush (Proxabrush) is another aid you may find useful to keep your teeth, braces and gums clean and healthy. It can be used to clean under your archwire and around the braces. Use this device slowly so you do not damage your braces.

Antisepctic Mouth Rinse (Peroxyl)

Peroxyl is used in orthodontics to control minor gum inflammation and irritations that may arise from your orthodontic appliances. For example, canker sores, minor wounds or other irritations from braces, cheek bites, etc. Its active ingredient is 1.5% hydrogen peroxide, which aids the natural healing process in your mouth.

Fluoride Mouth Rinse

Rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse twice daily can help protect the surfaces of your teeth against tooth decay. Any mouth rinse with approximately 0.05% sodium fluoride works well, and you should rinse for 2 minutes without swallowing.

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