Oral Hygiene

At Malone Orthodontics, our mission is to provide our patients with the highest quality of orthodontic care in a fun, easy-going environment. Dr. Jackie and our highly trained team of orthodontic specialists provide a wide range of orthodontic services, including clear braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign in Alpharetta and Milton, GA. We promise to always provide a personalized orthodontic experience and will work with you to find a treatment plan that fits your needs perfectly.

How to Brush With Braces

brushing-with-braces.jpgWe can't stress enough the importance of proper brushing and flossing while undergoing orthodontic treatment – but just what exactly is "proper" dental hygiene?

Let's start with the basics: you can use either a soft-bristle toothbrush or a bi-level brush (with shorter bristles in the middle and longer bristles at the edges). With careful use, an electric toothbrush can work just as well - just be sure it is set to a moderate power level and make sure its vibrations don't cause the hard plastic brush head to bump against brackets or braces!

Using a fluoride toothpaste, you should brush at least two times per day (preferably after meals), for at least two minutes every time. Make sure not to miss any tooth surfaces: clean the outside, the inside, and the chewing surfaces as well. Take special care to clean between the wires and teeth and the brackets and gums - these are particularly favored hiding places for bits of food and bacteria!

Here's a sample brushing technique: beginning with the outside surfaces, place the tips of the bristles flat against the teeth and use small, circular motions to gently polish them clean. To reach in between the braces and gums, tilt the brush toward the gum line (down for bottom teeth, up for top) while maintaining circular brushing motions. Next, clean the chewing surfaces of the upper and lower teeth with a firm back-and-forth motion. Finally, finish up by carefully brushing the inside surfaces of the teeth with the same technique as the outside surfaces.

Special Brushing Tools

  • interdental-toothbrush.jpgInterdental toothbrush: If you're having trouble reaching around brackets and wires, an interdental toothbrush, or proxabrush, can help. It has a small, Christmas-tree tuft of bristles that works like a pipe cleaner to clean the tiny spaces under wires and around bands and brackets.
  • Water Pick: An oral irrigator or "water pick" is a device that shoots a small stream of aerated, pressurized water at your teeth, which can dislodge bits of food that become trapped in the teeth and brackets. While it's very convenient, it's not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing - but in conjunction, it can be an effective way to bolster oral hygiene.

Floss Fundamentals

floss-threader.jpgFloss Threader: Flossing at least once per day is crucial to keeping teeth and gums clean and healthy. A floss threader is a tool that helps get the floss underneath the wire of the braces. It's a lot like threading a needle - after attaching the floss to the threader, simply push it under the wires, carrying the floss with it. With the floss is under the wire, you can floss your teeth normally, sliding it up and down both sides of the teeth and all the way under the gums. Finally, pull it out and repeat the process with a new section of floss for the next area.

Perfecting Your Technique

Many people wonder if their tooth-cleaning techniques are truly effective. There's actually a simple, effective way to tell - using special vegetable dyes called "disclosing solutions" or "disclosing tablets." These dissolve in the mouth and highlight plaque and food debris that tooth cleaning may have missed. You can then easily remove the highlighted spots, and you'll have a full understanding of where your tooth cleaning can be more effective.

Remember, keeping up proper oral hygiene is an investment in your future. It ensures the best results from your orthodontic treatment and puts you on a path towards a brighter smile that will last a lifetime!

Contact Your Premier Orthodontist in Alpharetta, GA

If you have any more questions about your oral hygiene or any of the state-of-the-art orthodontic services we offer, feel free to reach out to us at our Contact Us page. To schedule a consultation at our Alpharetta office, feel free to give us a call or use our easy online form.