Caring for Your Appliances

You have your braces or retainer, and you’re thrilled that your teeth will now be straighter and healthier. But now that your appliances are on your teeth, what are the best ways to brush and floss properly? Luckily, with a little practice, you can make sure your teeth stay healthy while you wear your dental appliances.

Brushing and Flossing While Wearing Braces from AAO on Vimeo.


How to Keep Your Braces Clean and Healthy

Whether you live in Carlisle or Shippensburg, the goal at Cantor & Team Orthodontics is to make sure you avoid major problems that can develop from not cleaning your retainer or braces properly. To keep your braces clean and healthy when you’re brushing, you should follow a few simple steps:

  • Brush with a toothbrush that has a clean, supportive head. You will need to replace your toothbrush more often than normal when you have braces, because the braces will wear down the toothbrush bristles.
  • Brush after every snack or meal. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth out with water to loosen as much debris as you can.
  • Take out anything that’s removable, such as bands or other appliances. Then, brush at an angle around each brace bracket. Don’t brush directly on the face of the bracket — aim to get around the bracket where the plaque is likely to build up.
  • After brushing all your brackets, brush the exposed parts of your teeth. Again, brush at an angle to get all the spots where bacteria like to hide.


Make Your Smile the Talk of Shippensburg, Carlisle and Beyond

Think it’s tough to floss with braces? While it’s a bit harder than flossing normally, it does get simpler as you become a better flosser. Follow these straightforward suggestions from Team Cantor:

  • Remove your retainer or other removable devices before flossing.
  • Consider getting special dental floss that’s meant for patients with braces. You may also prefer to floss with a water-driven flosser. They are more expensive than dental floss, but will get into the deep spots between your teeth, as well as between your braces and wires.
  • Take your time when flossing. A hurried job will lead to poor results!


The Best Way to Clean Retainers

To get your retainer as pristine as possible, try following a few simple steps:

  • Wash off your retainer after removing it with dish detergent and cool water. Use a separate toothbrush to brush your retainer. Then, rinse it off thoroughly to release any residue or flavor.
  • Never soak your retainer in mouthwash. This tends to discolor the retainer, and it may compromise its effectiveness.
  • When brushing your retainer clean, use cooler water. Hot water can cause the retainer to change shape.

By taking your time and following these steps, you can have teeth and gums that are healthy — no matter how long you have braces!

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