How often should I change my toothbrush?
There are lots of different types and brands of toothbrushes on the market, but as a general rule, you are to replace your manual toothbrush every 3 months when you are having orthodontic treatment. Some toothbrushes have smart indicator lines on them, which wear down to indicate when the toothbrush should be replaced. These are often on electric toothbrush heads (which are fine to use during orthodontic treatment).
As a general rule, try to always choose a SOFT or EXTRA-SOFT toothbrush to avoid excessive pressure being applied to the teeth, gums and braces. Plaque is soft, it is more important to get the toothbrush head at the correct angles, rather than to brush hard.
Is mouthwash ok to use with braces?
All types of mouthwashes are ok to use during orthodontic treatment, they will not affect your braces. But you must read the instructions as some mouthwashes should only be used short term (such as Savacol) as they cause staining.
Is using a mouthwash better than brushing or flossing?
Using a mouthwash is NOT to be used instead of brushing, flossing or using your interdental brushes. A mouthwash can help short term to reduce bacteria and help with controlling bad breath but it can’t physically remove plaque for you. Mouthwashes are to be used in conjunction with all your other physical cleaning tools.
Do I need to clean my tongue?
Yes! Bacteria can build up on your tongue, affecting taste and the freshness of your breath, so give it a brush at the end of your cleaning routine.
Do I need to floss?
Yes! Plaque builds up on all surfaces of your teeth, including in between. If plaque/bacteria are left, it can lead to gum infections and decay in between the teeth. During orthodontic treatment, flossing is harder to do, but we will show you how to use an orthodontic flosser which makes it easier. This is included in your brace’s starter pack.
What other cleaning tools do I need during orthodontic treatment?
Another excellent tool is an interdental brush which cleans under the wire and between the bonds, is a small single end tufted toothbrush. You are given one of these in your brace’s starter pack.
Do I need to use special toothpaste?
We will initially provide you with a toothpaste called NeutraFluor 5000 Plus, which is higher in fluoride and will help with keeping your teeth strong and healthy. But almost all toothpastes contain some fluoride, any of which you can use at any stage of your treatment. Once again it is more important to physically remove the plaque from your teeth than to rely on a toothpaste or mouthwash to do this for you.