One of the hardest things to do as an adolescent is to brush your teeth. We give brushing instructions but when you have braces, it becomes much, much, much harder to do a good job.
Brushing teeth and especially brushing around braces requires attention to detail and taking enough time to do it well. These are not traits that teens are famous for.
The thirteen year old boy from Canby is no exception. He got his braces six months ago and did a pretty good job at first but lately I have noticed that his gums were getting very puffy, red, and swollen.
In fact, his gums were almost up to his braces!
This is what we recommended:
We talked to him about using his toothbrush to poke at the teeth rather than scrubbing side to side.
The poking action allows the toothbrush bristles to fit under the archwire that connects his orthodontic brackets.
Once the bristles slide under the wire, we recommend wiggling the toothbrush slightly side to side to clean the area.
Make sure to brush between the braces and the gums and both sides of the wire.
Use a floss threader or a Platypus flossing tool we give out to clean between the teeth.
Take enough time to do a very good job at least once a day. Quality is better than quantity (with a minimum of once a day).
Use a prescription toothpaste with extra fluoride, like Prevident.
After improved brushing with the prescription toothpaste and flossing under the wires, his swollen gums got back to good health and his breath was much better.
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