Braces: Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and Flossing
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know we should brush and floss regularly. But did you know that during orthodontic treatment you should be aiming for 3 brushes per day? Also, it is important to know that there are certain areas that should be targeted more while wearing braces.
All patients in braces or Invisalign treatment should brush 2 or 3 times a day for 2 minutes per session. It can be difficult to fit the 3rd brush in right after lunch, so what I often recommend is to get that middle of the day brushing in as soon as you get home from school or work. Have a little after-school snack, then brush!
When brushing with braces it is very important to brush the area between the braces and the gum tissue. This stretch of tooth is the most prone to collecting plaque. Make sure to use a soft head toothbrush because the brush will gently rub over the gum tissue as this area gets brushed. If debris is missed in between teeth, use a small proxy brush. We give these to our patients the day they start treatment.
In addition to brushing, it is important to floss once per day. Since regular flossing with spool floss isn’t possible around the archwire, we recommend trying Superfloss, a floss threader, or braces friendly flossers.
Brushing and flossing is not a new concept, and seems very simple, but can be challenging when you are new to braces. Do your best and keep working at it!