Keeping Your Braces Clean Guide – Part 3
This is the third and final entry in our “Keeping Your Braces Clean” series. Here we talk about removable appliances, water flossers, and rinses. Practicing good oral hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment is vital. In addition to brushing and flossing, you’ll need to integrate a few more tasks into your daily routine. Dr. Black and his team have pulled together the following information to help guide you through this process. Although this may seem like a lot, the lifetime of satisfaction you’ll get from your new smile will be worth it.
Should I Clean My Removable Appliances?
All orthodontic appliances tend to accumulate food particles and plaque, just like teeth do. Every time you brush your teeth, you should brush your removable appliances too. Once a day, you should soak your appliance in a glass of room temperature tap water with a denture-cleaning tablet, such as Polident® or Efferdent®. This will help prevent plaque buildup and oral infections and will keep your appliance tasting better.
Can I Use A Water Flosser?
We highly recommend the use of a water flosser like Waterpik® to loosen food and plaque before flossing and brushing. Use the flosser on a lower water pressure setting so you don’t irritate the gum tissue excessively. Remember, the use of a water flosser does not take the place of good toothbrushing. If you decide to use a water flosser to blast out chunks of food from hard to reach places and massage your gums, you’ll still need to continue brushing and flossing. Water flossers do not replace these essential tasks, but they may be helpful.
Should I Use Antiseptic And Fluoride Mouth Rinses?
Colgate® Peroxyl® is an antiseptic dental rinse with the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide (1.5%). It controls minor gum inflammation and other irritations you may experience while wearing orthodontic appliances. You can use it to cleanse minor wounds or other irritations of the mouth and gums like canker sores, mouth burns, cheek bites, and toothbrush abrasions. Its oxygenating action removes debris and allows natural healing to occur.
Dr. Black recommends that you rinse with an antiseptic like Peroxyl® up to four times daily. Us it after meals and at bedtime while wearing orthodontic appliances. When you do this, swish half a capful (two teaspoons) around in your mouth for at least one minute.
For extra protection, you can also use a fluoride rinse. We’ll give you a prescription that you can fill at your drug store. Brush the fluoride directly onto the teeth or swish every night before bed. Do not eat or drink anything after you apply the fluoride— not only will that taste bad, but it will make the rinse less effective.
Taking these extra steps beyond just brushing and even flossing will help keep your smile beautiful for many, many years. For more information on properly brushing your teeth with braces, or how to floss with braces, check out more in this series of “Keeping Your Braces Clean.”
If you follow these tips for proper oral hygiene, your smile will be fresh and your braces will shine. If you have any questions, or if any problems come up, please call us. We are always happy to help in any way we can.