Dr. Wright's Advice
on Brushing Teeth With Braces
Important Tooth Brushing
|One of the common fears about orthodontics is that the
braces may cause decay. Your full bands, or the brackets bonded to
your teeth, cover and protect that portion of your teeth as long as they
are firmly attached. Either way, your brushing problem is the same.
The bands or bonded brackets do make your teeth harder to clean.
The brackets, tubes and wires tend to make a little shelf around the outside
if the teeth. This shelf makes it harder for your toothbrush to clean
the spaces between your gums and the attachments.
|If you fail to get the teeth clean and fail to exercise
your gums, then the gums swell and make it even more difficult to clean.
Foods that usually slide across the teeth and gums during chewing are held
back and prevented from doing their job of helping to clean the teeth and
exercise the gums.
CONTINUED NEGLECT OF THESE
WILL RESULT IN DECAY!!!
So.... When and How should you clean your
teeth during orthodontic treatment?
|Within five minutes after you eat. Easy to say but simetimes
hard to do? When you're away from home, we suggest you carry a travel
type of folding toothbrush with you.
|First, brush back and forth across...between the wires
and gums on the upper and lower to loosen the food particles.
|Next, brush correctly as if you had no bands on.
|Start on the outside of the uppers with bristles at a 45 degree angle
toward the gum or shelf we have referred.
|Scrub with a circular motion, two or three teeth at a time using 10
strokes, and move on.
|The same on the inner surfaces of the uppers.
|Scrub the chewing surfaces last.
|Start on the outside of the lower teeth and repeat the process. Remember,
direct the brush at an angle toward the gums or shelf area.
|Rinse your mouth and toothbrush.
in a Mirror to see if you have missed any places. Check the little half-moon
spaces of teeth between the bands and gums and the space between the molar
tubes and gums. If you see any areas you have missed, clean them
|When you have finished, the bands and wires should be free of all food
particles and the soft white coating (called plaque). The braces
should look clean and shiny.
|The water pik can be
very helpful but it is to be used AFTER thorough
brushing. It is not a substitute for brushing but does remove food
particles that the brush cannot reach.