So when and how should you clean your teeth during the orthodontic treatment? If possible, brush your teeth within five minutes after eating, as follows:
- Brush back and forth across the teeth (in between the wires and gums of the upper and lower teeth) to loosen the food particles.
- Next, brush correctly as if you had no brackets on.
- Start on the outside of the upper teeth with the bristles at a 45 degree angle toward the gum—or shelf as we call it—and scrub with a circular motion, covering two or three teeth at a time. Do this for ten strokes, then move on.
- Do the same on the inner surfaces of the upper teeth.
- Repeat this process on the outside and inside of the lower teeth. Remember, direct the brush at an angle toward the gum or shelf area.
- Finally, rinse your mouth and toothbrush.
- Look in a mirror to see if you have missed any spots. Check the little half moon spaces of the teeth between the bands/brackets and the gums as well as the spaces between the molar tubes (at the back of your mouth) and the gums.
When finished, your teeth, brackets, and wires should be free of any food particles and that ugly white coating called plaque. Your braces should look clean and shiny!