Brushing your teeth while you have braces is extremely important. Dr. Thompson advises that you use a regular toothbrush first and then follow up with an electric tooth brush. Electric toothbrush heads oscillates back and forth quickly to dislodge the plaque that is attached to the surface of the enamel. It is easy to hold the bristles of the toothbrush against the surface of the enamel and get up under the wire where the majority of plaque will accumulate.
The Oral-B Pro-Health Jr Electric Toothbrush, shown above, has a two minute timer that tells you how long you should be brushing in each corner of the mouth. This gives a child the idea to brush all areas of the mouth. The Oral B toothbrush head is smaller and icircular in shape. The smaller circular head is great for cleaning around the braces.
Remember, using a regular manual toothbrush and an electric toothbrush is the best way to clean your teeth. Some patients or parents ask about a water pick to clean their teeth. Dr. Thompson does not advise using a water pick to clean your teeth. The water pick is not as efficient as an electric or manual brush and it is messy
Retainer Ultrasonic Cleaning Kits
After braces are removed, we have to hold the teeth in their new positions until they become stable with retainers. Retainers are made of plastic that plaque can stick to and slowly build up on the retainer’s surface. This plaque will die and become crusty and look white. Once it gets to this point, it is hard to remove.
One of the ways to keep your retainers from getting that white crusty buildup, is to rinse your retainers off with water right after you remove them from your mouth. This gets rid of saliva and plaque that is on them. Also, each day, you can use an ultrasonic cleaner and cleaning tablets to provide extra cleaning.
Retainer Brite Cleaning Tablets (SHOP NOW) kills 99% of the bacteria and germs found on the retainers. Retainer Brite, used on a daily basis, will decrease the buildup of plaque and tarter on your retainers.
Orthodontic Mouth Guards
Most students play sports and wear braces at the same time. With some sports, like soccer, football or basketball you need to wear a mouth guard. Most accidents result in the lips being struck into the braces resulting in lip damage, tooth damage, bent wires or brackets broken.
Since we are constantly moving the teeth with braces, you cannot use a mouth guard that is custom fitted by boiling in hot water, a thermoplastic mouth guard. Shock Doctors have come out with the Shock Doctor Braces Mouth Guard and the Shock Doctor Double Braces Mouthguard.
Both mouth guards are made of 100% medical silicone and will adapt to the new tooth positions as the braces make changes. There is no boiling or adapting. The Shock Doctor Braces Mouth Guard covers only the upper teeth. Some patients like the smaller fit of just covering the upper teeth only.
The Double Braces Mouthguard covers both the upper and lower, and is shown above. Both can be ordered with or without a strap. Please watch the video below from Shock Doctors about their line of mouth guards for patients who are wearing braces.
Tooth Whitening Systems
After your braces are removed and you are starting to wear your retainers, Dr. Thompson suggests that you get a good dental cleaning to get rid of any food stains that have deposited on the teeth. If, after your cleaning, you notice that your teeth still look yellow, you may want to use a whitening system to brighten up that smile.
Dr. Thompson recommends the Crest Whitestrips Supreme Professional Strength. This kit requires no dental impressions and can be used at home. It has the highest strength for home use at 14% hydrogen peroxide and comes with 84 strips. You take the strips and peal off the active strip and place it on your teeth. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Remove the strip and brush your teeth. Over a short period of time, the yellow in your teeth will slowly go away. If your teeth become sensitive, spread the number of treatments out during the week or try a weaker Crest product with a lower percentage of hydrogen peroxide like Crest 3d White Gentle Routine Teeth Whitening Strips
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