© 2022 | All Rights Reserved
How to Brush
Rinse your mouth. Before you get started, swish some water around in your mouth. Spit, and repeat. This gets some of the loose particles of food out of your mouth.
Rinse your toothbrush. The last thing you need to do is feed your Gingivitis. Rinse your toothbrush under hot water. Run your finger up and down the bristles to rid of any food particles you left behind from last time. Rinse with cold water afterwards, if warm water feels too foreign in your mouth.
1- Put toothpaste on your brush. With your tongue, push the toothpaste into the bristles. This makes it last longer and prevents it from falling off in mid-brush. Begin on your bottom jaw. With the bristles slanted mostly to the top of your mouth (but just slightly slanted inwards towards your teeth), start brushing on the outside back of your bottom jaw. The motion will be slightly moving your brush back and forth while gradually moving it up. This gets all the food out from between your brackets. Continue this around your entire lower set of braces until you’re done. Spit if necessary. Flip your toothbrush, pointing the bristles downward and slightly slanted towards your teeth. You will be continuing the same steps only moving the brush gradually downward instead. Continue around the top jaw braces until you are finished. Spit if necessary.
2- With your toothbrush turned downward, brush back and forth along the tops of the top jaw braces. Flip the toothbrush and repeat along the bottoms of the bottom jaw braces. This step removes some of the plaque along the part of your tooth closest to the gum line. It also dislodges any food particles stuck directly on top of your brackets.
3- Do the opposite of what you have just completed. With the brush turned up, brush the bottoms of your top jaw braces. So, unlike the previous steps, where the bristles are turned away from your gums, you are brushing near the tops of the teeth with the bristles pointed towards your gums. Brush back and forth to remove plaque. Flip your brush and repeat along the tops of the bottom jaw braces.
4- Turn your bristles so that they directly face the surface of your teeth. Brush back and forth along the top and bottom jaw’s outer teeth-side (the side people see when you smile). Brush each jaw set one at a time. It is helpful to have an ortho-brush for this step, as you are cleaning the wires, but a regular toothbrush works fine. Now, bite together and brush back and forth along all your teeth. This helps you get plaque near the tops of your teeth that you may have missed if your brush slipped off your teeth. With your teeth still bit together, gently brush in circular motions.
5- Open your mouth wide and begin brushing the tops of your teeth (such as where your molars crunch your food). Be sure to get your farthest molars (or wisdom teeth, if you have them). It is a good idea to brush the backs of your furthest-most teeth. This will be the side of those teeth exposed to the back of your throat. Many people forget to brush there, resulting in bad breath, plaque, and, yes, Gingivitis.
6- Continue to brush the inner teeth-sides. Back and forth, up and down, and then circular motions. The inner teeth-sides are the easiest to brush, because they are not crowded with braces (That is, of course, unless you have those types of braces. In which case, it’s recommended you follow these steps in reverse.).
7- Turn your toothbrush sideways. The toothbrush should line un-lengthwise with the spaces in your teeth. Brush back and forth along all the spaces, adjusting the toothbrush as you move. This scrubs the easier-to-reach places in between your teeth.
8- Focus on your actual mouth. It is infested with germs! That doesn’t help the Gingivitis, as it thrives off of germs, plaque, and food. Spit if necessary before you begin (it doesn’t matter). Using your toothbrush, start to gently brush the gums above (or below) your teeth. After this, turn the brush 180 degrees to face your cheek. The cheek is harder to brush, but secure it with your other hand if it gets too difficult. Spit. Turn the brush downwards and brush the soft bottom and gums where your tongue lays. Brush underneath your tongue, and then the roof of your mouth. Finally, stick your tongue out and brush it. Be sure to breathe out of your mouth, otherwise you’ll start gagging. Spit and rinse your mouth and toothbrush.
9- Check your teeth. Do they look clean? If you see any plaque or food, take your rinsed toothbrush and brush it away. If you feel like it, brush them over (any way you’d like) really quickly to get rid of anything you might have missed.
Caring for Sensitive Teeth
Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your doctor. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.
When you finish your treatment and remove your braces, you should always Floss
Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.
Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18” long. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.
To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place. Bring the floss to the gumline then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.
When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.