Brushing and flossing your teeth is absolutely essential to getting the best result with braces. Excellent hygiene is necessary to prevent cavities, gum disease, and staining that could affect the appearance of your teeth. Our top priority at Scioto Orthodontics is to give you a smile that you love, and great brushing and flossing are an important part of achieving the healthy and aesthetic smile that you deserve!
Why is brushing so important?
Normal eating and drinking allows plaque to form on the surfaces of your teeth. Cavities and gum disease are caused by the bacteria that live in plaque. Over time, these bacteria cause damage to the teeth. Brushing and flossing is the best way to remove these bacteria and to keep your teeth healthy and clean!
Brushing and Flossing Instructions
Normally, Drs. Crawford and Johnson would suggest brushing at least twice a day (in the morning and at night) and flossing thoroughly at least once per day. When wearing braces, it's wise to brush a little bit more frequently. The best plan is to brush your teeth after each meal to remove leftover food that can get caught in the braces. We recommend bringing a toothbrush to work or school so that you can quickly and easily brush after lunch.
Both traditional and electric toothbrushes can be very effective at properly cleaning your teeth when used properly. Electric toothbrushes often have the advantage of including built-in timing systems to help you remember to spend enough time brushing as well as rotating or vibrating bristles for efficient plaque removal. Most importantly, however, when using either kind of toothbrush, you should be careful to be thorough (covering every surface) and gentle.
Brushing: When brushing, be sure to cover each surface of the tooth and braces, angling it around the edges of the braces, under the wire, and especially into the area between your braces and your gums—an area that is often neglected!
Flossing: The most common and effective method when flossing with braces is to thread the floss underneath the wire between each pair of teeth and floss up to the gum line, wrapping the floss gently around each tooth to remove plaque. We are also fans of the WaterPik Water Flosser for removing stubborn plaque in hard to reach places!
If you have questions about brushing and flossing, don’t hesitate to ask a member of our team during your next appointment at our Hilliard, OH orthodontic office!