How Can I Brush and Floss My Teeth If I Wear Braces or a Retainer?

February 14, 2018 0

One of the most common concerns about wearing dental braces or retainers is how to maintain good dental hygiene without disturbing the appliances.

If you are having trouble brushing or flossing with your braces, let us know at your next appointment and we can go over proper procedures together.  There are lots of great products on the market to help you out, and we can show you where to find them.  We might even have samples for you to bring home!  Ask us about orthodontic brush heads for electric toothbrushes and threaders to help you floss around your wires.

If you are wearing a retainer, it can be removed to eat.  Then brush and floss before you put your retainer back in. Be careful to put your retainer in the case so it doesn’t accidentally get thrown out with the lunch tray mess.  Our motto is “In your face or in the case”!

Keep your retainer clean by brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Never put your retainer in boiling water or the dishwasher!  Ask us which brands of denture cleaner are safe to use with your retainer, and feel free to stop in and have your retainer cleaned in our ultra-sonic machine any time the office is open.

During your time in braces or a retainer it’s best to avoid sugary foods.  Sugar increases bacteria in your mouth and that’s what causes plaque and cavities.  Remember that clean teeth move faster, so the cleaner you keep your teeth and gums the sooner you can get your braces off!

Some of the most obvious foods to avoid include:

  • Sticky food (Gum, Caramel, Gummies, Toffies and Sticky Buns)
  • Hard food (Hard Candy, Nuts, Ice Cubes, Super Crusty Breads)

If you cut up larger foods that you would normally just bite into you can still enjoy things like bagels, apples, celery, carrot sticks and meat. Just remember to cut the food into bite size chunks and you’ll be able to manage it.  When small pieces of food get stuck in your appliances, the bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities gathers in that spot too.  If you avoid eating foods that get caught in your appliances, you will have a much easier time brushing and flossing.

Be sure to brush after every meal and floss at least once a day. Both are very important.

Use only fluoridated toothpaste and ask your orthodontist or family dentist about a fluoride rinse, too!  Continue seeing your general dentist for recommended treatments.

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