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While you speed through your orthodontic process, it is important to take a step back and take proper care of your beautiful, transitioning teeth. Orthodontists today strongly recommend participating in a daily oral hygiene routine to keep your chompers healthy and strong. Your oral hygiene routine should include the following steps:

1. Prepare to brush: Before you begin brushing your teeth, make sure to take any rubber bands out of your mouth or any other removable objects.

2. Brush: While you clean your teeth, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and scrub around the wires, brackets, and pins of your braces. Also, make sure to thoroughly clean each tooth, spending about 10 seconds on every tooth. Take your time and make sure all debris, excess food, and plaque are removed.

3. Floss: Flossing with braces can be a little tricky. Generally, your orthodontist will give you a floss threader when you begin your orthodontic process, which will make flossing much easier. Now, when you floss, send an end of the floss up and through the space between the wire and your tooth. Then, gently press the floss between your teeth and remove and food or debris that may be stuck.

4. Rinse: When you are finished brushing and flossing your teeth, make sure to rinse your mouth with water or mouth rinse. If you decide to use mouth rinse, which is highly suggested, please use a fluoride or bacteria-killing mouthwash.

It is also important to avoid the following foods while your braces shift and change your smile:

• Foods that are tough to bite, like apples, bagels, or corn on the cob
• Foods that are chewy and sticky, like caramel and taffy
• Pretzels
• Popcorn
• Nuts
• Carrots
• Ice
• Bubble gum

To find out more about how to properly clean and care for your teeth while you have braces, call our orthodontic office today! Our orthodontic team is thrilled to help you have a successful and healthy orthodontic experience.