Brushing and Flossing

Braces & Invisalign Treatment in Philadelphia, PA

At Moore Orthodontics, we're passionate about helping each of our patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. Dr. Moore and our highly trained team of orthodontic specialists work with our patients on an individualized level, designing personalized treatment plans that perfectly suit each patient's unique orthodontic needs. We're proud to offer a wide range of high-quality orthodontic treatments at our office – but the truth is, in-office treatment is only half of achieving a new smile. Equally important is the care you provide for your teeth at home.

Brushing & Flossing with Braces

Brushing & flossing your teeth during treatment with braces or Invisalign is absolutely critical to the success of your treatment and the health of your smile – but it's also slightly different from brushing and flossing normally. To brush with braces, you'll need a soft-bristle or bi-level toothbrush, although an electric brush can work as well if you use it carefully and avoid hitting your braces with the back of the brush.
We recommend brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste at least four times per day:

  • Once after breakfast
  • Once after lunch or after school
  • Once after dinner
  • Once before bed

To brush your teeth, use a small amount of toothpaste and place the tips of the bristles flat against the teeth, making small circular motions to gently polish the teeth and braces. Try to brush every exposed area of your teeth and braces, and try tilting the bristles up and down to reach areas between the teeth and braces.

Special Brushing Tools

BrushingandFlossing1.jpgIf you're having trouble cleaning the areas near brackets and wires, there are some special tools that may help. One is the interdental toothbrush, or proxabrush. It has a small tuft of bristles that stick up all around, like a pipe cleaner. Use it gently and carefully to clean the tiny spaces under wires and around bands and brackets.

Another special cleaning tool is the oral irrigator or “water pick.” This device shoots a small stream of pressurized water at your teeth, which can help dislodge bits of food that become trapped in nooks and crannies. While it's easy to use, an oral irrigator isn't a substitute for a toothbrush or dental floss — but when used along with proper brushing and flossing techniques, it can be very effective.

Floss Fundamentals

BrushingandFlossing2.jpgTo keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, you need to floss at least once per day. But how do you get floss under the archwire of your braces? It's not so hard with the help of a floss threader. Using this device is somewhat like threading a needle: You pull one end of floss through the threader, and then push the threader — carrying with it the free end of the floss — under the archwire. Now grasp the floss on each end and slide it up and down the sides of both teeth, and all the way under the gums until you hear a squeaky sound. Finally, pull it out and use a new section of floss for the next area.

Full Disclosure

Ever wonder how effective your tooth-cleaning techniques really are? There's an accurate way to tell, using special vegetable dyes called “disclosing solutions” or “disclosing tablets.” As they dissolve in the mouth, these dyes highlight plaque and food debris that brushing has missed. You can then easily remove the dyed spots — and you'll know for sure if your oral hygiene methods need a little “brushing up.”

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy now is an investment in your future. It enables you to get the best results from your orthodontic treatment, and starts you toward a brighter smile that can last for a lifetime.

Contact Your Philadelphia, PA Orthodontist

We hope you found this information helpful, and if you have any more questions about protecting your teeth during treatment or orthodontic treatment in general, we'd be thrilled to help. Feel free to call us at 215-600-7230 or reach out to us at our contact page with any questions. Or, if you'd like to schedule an appointment at either of our Philadelphia, PA offices, you can do so using our online appointment request form. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy new smile!

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