By far the most important responsibility of a patient is to maintain good oral hygiene. Poor hygiene can lead to cavities, permanent stains on the teeth, and gum disease. These are all a result of actions of the bacteria in plaque. Time and attention are required to keep teeth and braces clean. In our office, we will demonstrate the proper brushing and flossing techniques while wearing braces.

We recommend brushing teeth 3 times a day, after meals. Night time is the most important time to keep the teeth clean, and we recommend also using a proxy brush and floss at this time. Proxy brushes help to clean between braces, and floss helps to clean between the teeth and gums where a toothbrush cannot reach.

Fluoride toothpastes, gels, and rinses help to prevent cavities and permanent stains on the teeth by making the enamel more resistant to damage by acids made by the plaque bacteria. Fluoride gels and rinses should be used after the teeth are cleaned. Food and drink should be avoided for at least 30 minutes after using the gel or rinse. Therefore we recommend using the fluoride just before going to bed at night.