Teeth and Gum Care

The key to healthy teeth and gums

Plaque is the sticky colourless film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. If it is left to build up, it is one of the main causes of tooth decay and gum disease. To keep teeth and gums healthy, the key is complete plaque removal every day.

Follow these simple instructions and you'll be off to a great start:

  • Brush your teeth, gums and under braces at least two times a day (especially after eating).
  • Floss between the teeth at least once daily - and definitely before you go to bed.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste - fluoride is proven to help prevent cavities.
  • Use a fluoride mouth rinse at least once daily to help reduce the risk of cavities. We recommend that this occur at night, as the product needs to remain on the tooth surface.
  • Use disclosing solution or tablets to test you are cleaning effectively (it is OK to use this product each night if you gain better results from seeing where the plaque is)
  • Try to carry your toothbrush and interdental brush (triangle brush) with you at all times, so that you can clean your teeth even when you are not at home.

Remember – we have tooth brushing basins at the Practice, so you can clean before your appointments!

Cleaning a removable appliance (plate)

Take the appliance out of your mouth with your finger by applying pressure on the clasps and clean your teeth in the normal way. Then use a spare toothbrush and cold soapy water to clean the appliance. Rinse your mouth with water afterwards. Ensure you clean all surfaces of your appliance. Clean it on a daily basis.

Do I still need to see my regular dentist?

Yes! Your regular dentist and orthodontist will work together with you to help you do the best job possible in caring for your teeth and gums. The Dentist will continue to recommend required general treatment while the Orthodontist straightens your teeth.

How do I clean all areas of my mouth while wearing braces?

At first, effectively removing plaque from your teeth and along the gum line may seem difficult with braces. But keep at it - with practice it becomes easier! Following these tips will also help...
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How do I floss with fixed braces?

Flossing is important, however, can be difficult with braces on.
Where there is a lot of crowding, you may need to wait until teeth move to give room to floss.
Choose a threading floss with a stiffened end that threads it through the gap between each tooth.

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How often should I clean my braces?

It is vital that you clean your braces every time you brush your teeth. Braces can act as a "plaque trap", increasing the amount of plaque on your teeth, which in turn can lead to an increased risk of decay and gum disease. You must clean all surfaces twice a day.

Which products are best for braces?

Manual toothbrushes have bristles trimmed in a "V" shape for cleaning above and below the brackets and wire. Ideally, with the correct technique, any toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles will ensure teeth and gums remain clean and healthy.

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Keep Smiling!

Wearing braces requires patience and discipline. However. the result of treatment can be more than just a healthy smile; often your orthodontist is preventing bigger problems from developing. Efficient oral care and following instructions (ie: wearing elastics, headgear as required) at home is important because it will help keep your treatment time on course and might even help reduce it. Furthermore, it will contribute to the long-term health of your teeth and gums. And your reward ... a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles!