Oral Hygiene and Care

Patient oral hygiene and care is an important part of the orthodontic process. Please select from the following for details:

Cleanings by your General/Family Dentist
Suggested Cleaning Routine
Accessories for Cleaning
Eating Precautions

Brushing Techniques with Braces Hygiene

Brushing with Proxabrush Hygiene

Flossing with Superfloss Braces Hygiene

Cleanings by your General/Family Dentist
It is very important to see your regular dentist every 6 months for cleanings. Good home care and cleanings by your general dentist will allow the teeth to move more efficiently and possibly expedite the orthodontic treatment time. We can remove the orthodontic wires to allow for a more efficient cleaning at your general dentist’s office. You will need to visit us directly prior to your cleaning appointment to have the wires removed, and then return to have the wires placed back in following your cleaning. If extra dental care is needed, we will be happy to coordinate with your family dentist to make sure that you are receiving the best care possible.

Suggested Cleaning Routine

Brush with toothbrush and toothpaste. Use proxybrush to clean areas that toothbrush doesn’t reach.

After Lunch, Snacks and Dinner
Ideally it is best to brush with a toothbursh and toothpaste after eating. However, if this is not possible, simply rinse with water to remove large pieces of food caught between the braces or appliances (water also dilutes plague acids caused as a byproduct from sugar eating bacteria in the mouth).

Before Bedtime

  • Brush all teeth thoroughly for a minimum of 2 minutes in a circular motion. One tooth at a time, and above and below the braces.
  • Use the proxybrush to clean in between the brackets, appliances, and along the gum line.
  • Used floss threader and floss between all the teeth.
  • Take last drink of water before bed if desired.
  • Rinse with fluoride (Phos-flur™, Act™, and Fluoriguard™) for one minute. Spit out the rinse, do not swallow the rinse.
  • Do not eat or dring anything again until the next morning.

Accessories for Cleaning

Please select from the following accessories for usage information and details:

Included in your home care kit are:

Use a soft bristle toothbursh in short circular motions above and below each brace for a minimum of two minutes. Encourage the patient to listen to a song to help with timing purposes (a phone timer also works well). If a toothbrush is unavailable, it is beneficial to rinse with water after eating. This item is included in your initial home care kit.

Dental Floss
Dental floss should be used daily. Place floss around one finger, on each hand, and run the floss in a “C” type motion around the necks of both teeth, going below the gum line. This item is included in your initial home care kit.

Floss Threaders
A floss threader is a plastic needle looking device. Thread floss through the eyelet, run the floss between the wire/brace and tooth. Push floss between the teeth and use as described above. When done, pull the floss out through the teeth. Do not pull floss up through the teeth. This item is included in your initial home care kit.

You should always have a supply of wax on hand while wearing braces. Wax acts as a cushion from any irritation the braces may cause by rubbing the cheek. To apply wax, dry the brace or area where you want it to stick with a tissue or cloth. Roll the wax into a ball, and then pad it over the brace. The wax will eventually melt away or fall off. It is not harmful if swallowed. This item is included in your initial home care kit.

Orabase™ is a topical anesthetic to be used for any ulceration or sore spot on the cheeks or gums. Apply the paste to the affected area with a cotton tip or finger tip. This is sold over-the-counter at most drug stores and is included in your initial home care kit.

A proxybrush is a Christmas-tree type tooth brush used to clean areas where a toothbrush does not reach (between bands, braces, the arch wire and the teeth, and most importantly along the gum line, underneath the braces). No toothpaste is needed. Replacement brushes can be purchased at most drug stores (replace every three months). This item is included in your initial home care kit.

Phos-Flur™ by Colgate
What the Rinse Does
colgate-phos-flurPhos-Flur™ is an acidulated fluoride rinse that helps prevent cavities, and decalcification on all teeth. Until recently this was a prescription item, but it is now sold as an over the counter medicine. Dr. Komoroski is recommending this rinse over the other rinses, (Act™, Fluoroguard™) as the acidulated component makes this more effective in preventing white spots on the teeth. While other fluoride rinses are effective when exceptional dental hygiene is maintained, the Phos-Flur™ seems to be more beneficial for our patients whose hygiene is not always up to par. This item is included in your initial home care kit and Dr. Komoroski also has replacement bottles available for purchase at the office.

How to Use the Rinse
After brushing and flossing rinse with 10 milliliter of the fluoride rinse. (Two teaspoons or fill the cap on the bottle to the 10-ml line) Swish for 1 minute and then spit out the rinse (swallowing may cause nausea and vomiting). For younger patients, it is acceptable to rinse twice with 5 milliliters. Each time for 1 minute. No eating or drinking for one half hour after using the rinse.

Please Note

  • This rinse is most effective when it is used for a whole minute. A minute is a lot longer than most children realize.
  • Remind the patient to get their drink of water before bed, prior to using the fluoride rinse. Ideally the fluoride will coat the teeth while sleeping – drinking water after rinsing removes the fluoride layer off the tooth surface.

Other helpful accessories include:

This device is used to irrigate around the braces, band, and fixed appliances, palatal expanders and lower expanders. When using this device, it is important to use it on its lowest setting to avoid loosening any of the braces. WaterPik™ is a common brand name, but Oral B™ and other companies also sell these devices.

Mechanical Toothbrushes
Electric/mechanical toothbrushes work well in cleaning around braces. When shopping for an electric toothbrush, be sure to price the toothbrush heads. These will need to be replaced every 3-4 months. Ask your general dentist for advice on purchasing an electric toothbrush.

Eating Precautions
Some foods are capable of breaking the cement under your bands or brackets. When braces become loose, orthodontic treatment time is prolonged. A careful patient can eat a nutritionally balanced diet without harming their braces.

Foods to Avoid

The foods listed below are ones we find to be the most common causes of loose bands, brackets, and broken appliances. We encourage you to avoid them during your treatment.

  • Hard, crunchy foods (ie:hard pretzels, pizza crust, Doritos, ICE)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Nuts and Popcorn
  • Carrots, celery and apples (may be eaten if cut up into small pieces)
  • Corn on the cob (may be eaten if sliced off the cob)
  • Gum (sugarless or otherwise), sticky candy, hard candy or caramel or peanut candy bars including but not limited to: Tootsie Rolls, Now & Laters, Fruit Roll Ups, Laffy Taffy, Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, Caramels, Toffee, Licorice, Sugar Daddy’s, Sugar Babies, Milk Duds, Gummy Bears, Starbursts, Snickers, Butterfingers.
  • Foods that cannot be cleaned off the braces or appliances may lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth.
  • Braces are fragile and can be damaged by eating the wrong kinds of food, causing the completion of your treatment to be delayed.
  • Avoid chewing on Pens, Pencils, or Fingernails