Oral Hygiene

Interdental Toothbrush

A Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Use the Proxabrush gently to avoid damaging your wires. The Proxabrush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Flossing With Braces

Use floss threaders to help guide the floss under the wires. 

  

flossing


Antibacterial Mouthwash

rinse.jpgPeroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks. Peroxyl helps to prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of Peroxyl (half a capful) for one minute and then spit it out. You may use Peroxyl up to four times daily following your schedule for brushing: after meals (or after school) and before bed. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, Peroxyl helps the inside of your mouth heal. Peroxyl can be used for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor temporary injuries to the gums.



Topical Fluoride

brush1.pngFluoride helps prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. The use of fluoride does not replace daily brushing and flossing but should be done following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of the fluoride on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. You may not eat or drink for 30 minutes after use. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes, so do not wash it away by eating or drinking.



Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

retainer.jpgBrush your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak the appliance daily. Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature and soak your appliance once every day. Your appliance will taste better, and you will prevent plaque and bacterial accumulation.



Tongue Exercises

tongueFirst, no liquid is to be taken when eating. Our grandmother taught us not to "wash our food down" when we swallowed. Even though she did not understand "why," she was right. In the swallowing pattern of a true tongue-thruster, the tongue does not push the food down the throat. Instead, it thrusts forward, leaving the food at the base of the tongue. The liquid, then, washes the food down, similar to taking a pill. By eliminating liquids while eating, the patient is forced to swallow properly.

Second, the tongue is a voluntary muscle and therefore can be trained just as any other muscle in our bodies can be trained. You will be taught three exercises that will allow you to swallow properly and help control the vertical growth pattern. (Note: to be successful in the open bite case, the teeth must also be moved orthodontically to close the bite.)


  • CLICK: Place the tip of the tongue to the roof of your mouth; press, then bring it down forcefully to create a clicking or popping sound. This is to be repeated as often as possible throughout the day. By doing this repeatedly, the tongue muscle begins to feel more comfortable resting on the roof of your mouth rather than around your front teeth.

  • SLURP: After practicing the first exercise, then place the tongue as if to click but instead, suck air back in the mouth. This pulls the tongue back. Then press on the top of your mouth with your tongue and swallow, not allowing the tongue to thrust forward.

  • SQUEEZE: Squeeze your teeth together as hard as possible for 15 seconds, relax then do it again for a total of four times. Please repeat this five times per day.