Brushing and Flossing

At Sonneveld Orthodontics, it’s our goal to help you attain the healthiest smile possible. We accomplish this not only through our effective orthodontic services, such as braces and Invisalign, but also through our dedication to patient care and education. We want to make sure that your treatment is as comfortable and convenient as possible, which is why we’ll be here for you every step of the way. If you happen to be wearing braces, we’d like to give you some tips on how to best keep an optimal level of oral hygiene.

Brushing Tips

For starters, we recommend using a soft-bristle toothbrush, though an electric toothbrush can work just as well. Just make sure that the electric toothbrush isn’t set to a power level above moderate and that its vibrations don’t cause the back of the brush to bump against your braces. You should brush using fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, but preferably four times (after each meal and before bed). Make sure to brush all of your tooth surfaces – the outside, the inside, and the chewing services. Remember to clean the areas between the wires and your teeth and also between the brackets and your gums; these are the most common areas where food particles can become trapped.

Special Brushing Tools

It’s not uncommon for patients with braces to have trouble cleaning some of the areas near the brackets and the wires. Thankfully, there are some special tools that can make the job easier. One of these is the interdental toothbrush, known as the proxabrush. A proxabrush has a small tuft of bristles that stick up all around it, similar to a pipe cleaner. It can be used to gently clean the tiny spaces under your wires and the spaces around your bands and brackets.

Another special cleaning tool that can be useful is the oral irrigator, also known as the water pick. This device shoots a small stream of pressurized water at your teeth, which is helpful for dislodging bits of food that become trapped between your teeth or in your braces. It’s important to know that while an oral irrigator is very effective, it’s not meant to be a substitute for brushing and flossing – it’s meant to be used alongside them.

Floss Fundamentals

It’s probably not surprising to learn that you’re still recommended to floss daily even while you have braces. However, with the archwire of your braces running across the fronts of your teeth, you may be wondering how to best floss your teeth. It’s actually pretty simple when you get the help of a floss threader. Using a floss threader is similar to threading a needle – you just pull one end of the floss through the threader and then push the threader underneath the archwire. Then, grasp the floss on each end and slide it up and down the sides of both of your teeth. When your teeth are clean, you should hear a squeaky sound. After that’s done, you’ll want to do the same for each of the other areas between your teeth.

Full Disclosure

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell how well you’re actually doing when you’re cleaning your teeth. You’re in luck though! There’s now a completely accurate way to tell – you can use special vegetable dyes known as ‘disclosing solutions’ or ‘disclosing tablets.’ They’ll dissolve in your mouth and the dyes will highlight plaque and food debris that you may have missed. This will show you the areas of your mouth where your oral hygiene needs a little brushing up on.

Contact Your Oak Forest Orthodontist Today

If you’re looking for orthodontics near Oak Forest, we’d love for you to stop by sometime. We encourage you to give us a call at (708) 403-2626 to schedule a visit with us. Alternatively, you can fill out our online appointment request form. We can’t wait to hear from you!