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Protecting your Smile

Keeping your braces clean will  not just make your journey more pleasant, but also radically speed up treatment progress. Here are four tips to help you keep the sparkle.

Now that you have your braces, you need to know that there are three new things happening in your mouth.

Firstly, there is a metal wire running over your teeth with fixed attachment points. With this wire in position, there are many more spaces where food and plaque can collect over time. So, we will need to clean these spaces thoroughly.

Then, there is sensitivity. In orthodontic treatments teeth are moved around, and this causes you to experience increased sensitivity. So, you will need to adjust your cleaning and eating habits while your teeth are sensitive. Sometimes it may even be necessary to switch to smooth and liquid foods for a while – this is normal.

The good news is that the sensitivity does not last for long and your tongue, cheeks and gums will get used to the new textures in your mouth. As for cleaning, soft brush heads are an absolute must.

Finally, having braces can put a strain on the health of your gums, so taking care of them is essential. We need to make sure the gums are not only meticulously cleaned, but also massaged for optimal blood flow. Here are a few tips to help you keep your smile healthy.

Tip #1

Crush It While You Brush It

Use a soft bristled toothbrush such as the Curaprox CS 5460 Ortho brush along with a fluoride containing toothpaste to gently clean your gums and your teeth. Place the toothbrush at an angle so you feel the bristles in your gums and use small circular motions. Completely clean each surface of every tooth including the areas above, below and between each bracket attachment.

You should brush your teeth at least three times per day. After breakfast, after lunch and after dinner before you go to sleep. You will notice that your toothbrush will wear out faster than usual and you should thus replace it more frequently. You  may also use an electric toothbrush. We recommend either a Curaprox Hydrosonic toothbrush or a Philips Sonicare toothbrush. These are extremely efficient in removing plaque, making cleaning much easier.

Brushing correctly will not only save you a lot of time, but also ensure that soft plaque does not harden and bind the wires to the brackets. If binding occurs then movement slows down as more friction is introduced into the system. This will absolutely lead to longer treatment times. Here are some steps to help you crush your brushing game:

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Step 1

Completely clean each surface of every tooth in your mouth, including the areas above, below and between each bracket. With your electric toothbrush you may place the vibrating brush head softly on the gum line for 2–3 seconds while the brush is active. Move the brush head slowly in small circles. Repeat this action for every tooth, front and back. Make sure you cover parts of the gum, too.
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Step 2

With your CS 5460 Ortho brush you should place the brush head at a 45º angle towards your gum line with half the brush head on your teeth, and half on your gums. Use soft circular motions and avoid horizontal strokes. The brush head is equipped with 5460 soft bristles that do a very good job of cleaning your teeth, just make sure you pay enough attention to each tooth and do not apply too much pressure.
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Step 3

Brush every tooth slowly. Brush the upper teeth downwards and brush your lower teeth upwards. For hard to reach areas we have included a Curaprox CS 1006 precision brush in your kit. You may use this brush to accurately clean areas which are not accessible with your other, larger brush.
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Step 4

Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Tip #2

Floss Like A Boss

We totally get that flossing seems almost impossible when you have braces. It is however super important and gets easier the more you do it. Flossing should be  done every day – preferably after brushing at night, before going to sleep.

If you are flossing for the first time you may notice some bleeding and discomfort. Don’t be alarmed as this is normal and should stop within 2 weeks as you continue to clean and floss consistently.

Take special care not to apply excessive force to the brackets and wires when removing the floss.

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Step 1

Take approximately 30cm of floss and carefully pull the floss between your wire and your teeth. Using a floss threader may make this easier.
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Step 2

Push the floss gently between your teeth and wrap the floss around the curved part of your tooth. Gently slide the floss along each of the two
teeth. Then carefully remove the floss to the side and avoid pulling on the wires or brackets.

Tip #3

Be Gentle with Your Interdental

Conventional toothbrushes are not enough. Your braces will make your teeth move and cause a change in the spaces between your teeth – known as interdental spaces. This will make it easy for food and bacteria to build up in these new spaces, and because it is difficult to clean with a toothbrush, this becomes a prime place for decay to start.

To clean out these spaces between your teeth you will need interdental brushes. When the right size brush is used, and when used correctly, they are gentle, easy to use and safe for your teeth and gums.

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Step 1

First, we will measure your interdental spaces and match the correct products accordingly. This may be done by either your dentist or oral hygienist. This way you will benefit the most from using interdental brushes without causing harm to your gums.
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Step 2

Gently push the brush into the interdental space, near to your gums, and slowly pull out. One in-and-out motion is enough. Repeat for all other teeth. Covering all your interdental spaces will take less than 2 minutes.

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