Now that you have braces, food has a bunch new places to get stuck! To avoid oral health problems like bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities, you will have to maintain high levels of oral hygiene.

At City Smiles, we want to make sure you have all the knowledge and resources available to ensure you achieve the greatest results possible!

Brushing and Flossing With Braces:

1. Don’t rush when you brush!

Take it one tooth at a time. Dr. Salas stresses that you take your time with each tooth. Spend at least 10 seconds on each tooth, and pay close attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about the angles.

Brush your top teeth and braces with your brush angled downward, and brush your bottom teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

3. The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner and chewing surface of your teeth, your tongue, and along your gum line (a key spot for plaque buildup).

4. Brush after every meal.

Food can easily get caught in your braces and in between your teeth. This can lead to tooth decay. Also, the longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater the opportunity for plaque to form. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t brush after every meal, try at the very least to thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

5. Make a teeth cleaning kit – to go!

Get into the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you wherever you go. Design a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and always keep it with you.

6. Remove the moving parts.

If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.

7. Fluoride is your friend.

Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

8. Interproximal brushes.

Sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes, these cone-shaped brushes come in handy when you need to reach those spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t reach.

9. Find the floss for you.

Some patients find that regular floss works well for them. Other patients think it’s easier to work with a floss threader or Superfloss. A floss threader helps you get the floss into those tight places, and Superfloss is an all-in-one product which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces and regular floss for narrow spaces.

10. Make an appointment with City Smiles!

Visit us at our Houston, TX orthodontist office (and of course visit your dentist) regularly while in treatment to get a deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide.

Life with braces doesn’t have to be hard! If you have any concerns about your braces, feel free to contact Dr. Salas at (281) 589-6100.