An interproximal (between the teeth) brush is a specially shaped toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Use the interproximal brush gently to avoid damaging your wires. The interproximal brush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Fluoride Gels and Rinses
Although not all of our patients may need to use them, a fluoride gel, such as Phos-Flur, or fluoride mouth rinse, such as Act, can help prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. Our office will let you know if a fluoride gel or rinse is recommended. The use of a fluoride gel or rinse does not replace daily brushing and flossing but should be done following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of fluoride gel on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. If using a fluoride rinse, thoroughly swish a small amount in your mouth for one minute and spit it out. Following application of a fluoride gel or rinse, you may not eat or drink for 30 minutes. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes, so do not wash it away by eating or drinking.
Cleaning Your Removable Appliance
Brush your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak the appliance daily. Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature and soak your appliance once every day. Your appliance will taste better, and you will prevent plaque and bacterial accumulation. In cases where you notice some calcium deposits forming on your appliance that cannot be brushed off, you can use some vinegar to soak your appliance for approximately one hour. The acid in the vinegar should dissolve the deposits so you can brush them off with your toothbrush. Be sure to rinse off your appliance thoroughly so you do not taste the vinegar!
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