It is important to have a clean mouth with braces. Braces, wires and bands can easily trap food particles and plaque, so careful brushing and flossing is very important. It is best to brush after every meal, if possible, and floss at least once a day.
There are special tools and techniques for brushing and flossing:
Brushing: Using a soft toothbrush, brush at a 45 degree angle to the tooth in small circles above and below the brackets.
Interdental toothbrushes (Proxabrush or Christmas tree brushes): These triangular shaped brushes are used to clean underneath and around your wires and braces.
Flossing: Flossing requires getting the floss under the wire that connects the braces together. Threader floss has a stiff end on one side, and makes it easier to get underneath the wire. Once the floss is under the wire, you can easily wrap it around the tooth and get down to the gumline. When removing the floss, be sure to slide it out and not to pull or place too much pressure on the wire. Repeat this process between all teeth.
Flouride Rinse: This type of rinse helps prevent tooth decay while in braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel to keep it strong. Use this once a day after brushing and flossing. Swish a small amount in your mouth for about one minute, then spit it out. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after using it.