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Brushing with braces

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Proper brushing is vital to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Poor brushing can cause permanent damage to your teeth. This damage can be in the form of permanent white spots, brown spots, cavities and or gum disease.

To prevent these problems, you must develop a system of cleaning all the surfaces of every tooth. Start by brushing the outer surfaces of your teeth and braces with a circular motion.

Hold your toothbrush 45˚ to clean the top and bottom of the braces. Concentrate on the areas of your teeth between the gums and the braces. This is the area that is most commonly missed when brushing.

Pay special attention to areas with hooks, as plaque and food debris often accumulate here.

Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Brush the inside surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as odor causing bacteria can get trapped here.

Use a soft bristle toothbrush, and gentle strokes when brushing.

Plaque is soft and can easily be removed with proper brushing techniques. Do not brush with a hard bristle toothbrush, or use harsh saw like motions as this may cause damage to your teeth and gums.

To clean between the brackets, you can use a proxy brush. You can usually get one from your orthodontist or at your local drugstore.
The proxy brush is shaped as a miniature Christmas tree. Insert it under the arch wire and gently work it in an up and down motion.

By doing this you’ll be cleaning the surfaces of your teeth to the left and right of the braces. Do this between all of your brackets and bands.

To clean between your teeth, you’ll need to floss.

Brush when you wake up in the morning, before bed, and after every meal. In addition, you can use a fluoride rinse after brushing to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Remember: in order to have a nice smile, you not only need to have straight teeth, you need to have clean, healthy looking teeth.

The last thing you want when you’re braces are removed, is to have straight, but badly broken down or discolored teeth. If you get into habit of cleaning your teeth well, you can have a new beautiful smile


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