Braces Wearers: Follow These Tips!

During the month of October we are celebrating National Orthodontic Health Month (NOHM)! In honor of NOHM we wanted to share some best practice tips that will make your orthodontic smile blossoming journey a smooth and healthy one. Our goal is for all of our orthodontic patients to make it to Braces Off Day (Deband Day) without any worries of their results being marred by tooth decay and stains. However, a lot of that depends on the daily habits of our patients when they are away from our practice. Follow these tips to ensure the best possible result at the end of treatment:

1. Brush after every meal. Twice a day is not enough with braces or other fixed orthodontic appliances. It's a good idea to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste along to lunch to be prepared. Just make sure to find a place to store the toothbrush where it can dry out between uses!

2. Switch to an electric toothbrush. Studies show that electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes.

3. Don't skip flossing. We know it's trickier with braces, but persevere! Use floss threaders, floss picks, or water flossers if regular floss is too frustrating to work with. Daily flossing is actually more important than brushing, and it's essential for preventing post-braces stains and keeping your gums healthy.

4. Whitening products and braces do not mix. Wait until the braces come off so that the entire surface of each tooth can get the same amount of whitening treatment. Trying to do it with braces on can leave uneven patches where the brackets used to be attached upon removal!

5. Rinse with a fluoride containing mouthwash to strengthen enamel and decrease bacteria in the mouth.

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