PLEASE keep your regular hygiene visits with your general dentist’s office. They’ll be able to monitor the health of your gums and teeth. However, the small and simple things you do every day are of far greater importance than infrequent big things. You must keep your teeth, gums, and orthodontic appliances clean for your own health.

Brush at least morning and NIGHT, as well as after every meal. You need to brush for as long as it takes to clean the debris from each tooth (usually 3min). Special attention: the most commonly missed areas are between the bracket and the gums as this is where we most commonly find early stages of cavities after braces are removed. Avoid snacking and grazing. It’s not how much you eat, but how frequently you eat (and brush) that plays the greatest role in developing or preventing cavities.

Flossing doesn’t come naturally to many, even without braces. But that’s no excuse to give up! Now is a great time to develop a good habit that can greatly reduce the risk of developing cavities now and throughout life. This should be done daily. Some like water flossers. Whatever you use is better than nothing at all.

Mouthwash is NO SUBSTITUTE for brushing and flossing. However, a non-alcoholic mouth rinse with fluoride after brushing and flossing can help prevent cavities by strengthening tooth enamel without drying out the oral tissues.