Oral hygiene is absolutely necessary for people wearing braces. Plaque forms in and around the braces after eating food. The patient should maintain good oral hygiene by flossing and cleaning everyday to protect the teeth from decay, decalcification and colour changes. Patients should maintain a braces cleaning kit for daily uses. It is also useful during travelling.

A braces cleaning kit generally consists of a bag, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mirror, tissues packet, dental wax, dental floss and a cup to hold water. During the early weeks of using braces, it is common to get irritation inside the mouth. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water soothes the irritation. Dental wax can also be used to get relief from irritation. Dental wax acts as a barrier between the braces and inside of your cheeks and lips thereby protecting the gums and cheeks from irritation. Generally the orthodontist gives dental wax after your braces are set up. You can also buy dental wax from local pharmacies. Take a small piece of wax and place it directly on the bracket that is causing irritation. Do not worry if you swallow a little wax, as it is non-toxic. If you want relief for a long time, use dental silicone. It lasts longer than regular wax. But your braces must be dry to stick to it. You can also use Rincinol PRN to get relief from mouth sores. Regular usage of braces makes inside of your cheeks to toughen up. So you may require less amount of wax later.

Use fluoride toothpaste and brush approved by your orthodontist. Do not use whitening toothpaste. It is recommended to use angled brush. You can also use a small spiral dental brush or proxy brush to remove food particles before you brush. If you have a regular brush, use it at an angle of 45 degrees so it can clean effectively between braces and gums. Clean all the parts of teeth and mouth. Brush thoroughly in circular motion to remove any plaque. Toothpaste may get deposited between the braces. Special care should be taken for brushing around braces. Do not apply too much force while brushing as your braces may change their position or even break. Brush lightly, and most preferably, use a toothbrush with soft bristles, so that it does not make any adverse effect on the braces.

Rinse the mouth several times to remove the deposit of toothpaste between the braces and teeth. Use the mirror to check any traces of plaque. Mouthwash can be used to sterilize your mouth. Dental flossing can be used to remove any plaque, which is not reachable by toothbrush. Floss your teeth daily in the evening using waxed floss. Floss between the braces and the teeth. Rinse the mouth thoroughly to remove the floss. You don’t require special floss for your teeth, although if you want, you can go for different flavours or colours. In essence, any floss, which has a plastic threaded needle, serves the purpose. The plastic threaded needle helps in removing the floss under arch wire for each bracket. It is advisable to replace your toothbrush with a new one every three months. It is recommended to carry your brace cleaning kit while you are at home or travelling or going out to eat at a restaurant. This will help to keep your braces clean and hygienic, and prevent most problems that come with braces.

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