Brushing and Flossing

Caring For Your Teeth and Orthodontic Appliances

At Starnes Orthodontics, Dr. Heidi Starnes and her friendly team are proud to offer the most comprehensive orthodontic care to children, teens, and adults. We work hard to make sure all our patients have a stress-free and positive experience while they’re improving their smiles. If you’re wondering if you could benefit from Costa Mesa Invisalign or need a Newport Beach orthodontist who can provide your child with early orthodontic treatment, we welcome you to our office as we can meet all your family’s orthodontic needs in one convenient location.

If you are wearing braces which are bonded to your teeth for the duration of your treatment process, it is more important than ever that you do a very good job of brushing and flossing. The brackets and wires on your teeth require more diligence when brushing and flossing due to there being many places where food particles and plaque can hide and build up. By carefully brushing and flossing after eating, you can prevent this build-up to help you avoid some common problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Below are some tips for helping you do a great job of keeping your teeth clean and your mouth healthy while you’re improving your smile, so you can get the best possible treatment results in the shortest amount of time.

Brushing with Braces

You should use a soft bristled toothbrush and a small dab fluoride-containing toothpaste. When brushing your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach between your teeth and under your gum line. Holding the brush at an angle, brush slowly and carefully, making sure you are brushing all the tooth surfaces, between the teeth and around your appliances. Spend at least two minutes brushing and then finish the job by brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth before rinsing your mouth out with water.

Brush your teeth after every meal and before bedtime. As soon as you see the bristles on your toothbrush starting to wear down, replace your brush with a new one.

Flossing with Braces

Flossing reaches those areas between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach to remove bits of trapped food and plaque. When you have braces on your teeth, flossing takes time and patience. You should be flossing your teeth at least once per day and preferably at bedtime.

Use the reusable floss threader we gave you to floss under your archwire every day. Simply pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. You will feel when a tooth is clean and hear the squeak of the floss against your clean teeth. Be careful when flossing around your archwire and don’t floss too forcefully or put too much pressure on the wire. Once you’ve flossed between your archwire and braces, floss between your other teeth.

If you are not using a floss threader, pull some floss from the dispenser and wrap the ends around your middle fingers. Then gently guide the floss between all your teeth down to the gumline, so you are pulling out tiny bits of food and/or plaque. Use a clean segment of floss as you move along so by the time you’re finished, you’ve used all the floss you removed from the dispenser. If you have not flossed your teeth in some time, it is normal to experience a bit of bleeding. However, if your gums continue to bleed every time you floss, let us know at your next scheduled appointment.

Questions? Contact Your Costa Mesa Orthodontist

If you have any questions about brushing and flossing while you’re wearing Costa Mesa clear braces or conventional metal braces, don’t hesitate to contact us at our Newport Beach office, as we’re always more than happy to speak with you. We want the time you spend working on that amazing new smile to be a pleasant and care-free time. Even though it takes more time and commitment on your part to make sure you’re doing an excellent job of maintaining good oral hygiene while you’re in treatment, it will all be worth it in the end when you’re left with straight teeth and a healthy bite which you can enjoy for the rest of your life!