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Oral Hygiene

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Maintenance Tips for People with Braces

It is very important to keep teeth, gums, and appliances absolutely clean throughout your orthodontic treatment. At least once a day, spend a few moments checking your braces or other appliances with a mirror to make sure they are in good shape.

Be sure to schedule regular visits with your general dentist while you wear braces. Your dentist needs to continue dental cleanings and monitor for cavities and other dental needs.

Follow the tips below or contact our office for ways to keep your smile healthy and bright.

Retainer Care

Retainers, just like your teeth, collect plaque, bacteria, and food particles. You should clean your retainer every day! Keep your retainer soaking when it is not in your mouth.  Use a mouthwash rinse to freshen it up and keep it free of bacteria. Keep your retainer away from heat; the plastic can crack if it gets too dry or too hot. Try not to bend the wires; flipping your retainer in your mouth can do this.

Brushing with Braces

Now that you have braces, your teeth are more difficult to clean, so you have to be very careful to keep those new braces clean. You should brush your teeth properly after every meal and snack. Always keep your toothbrush handy, you should even be brushing at school or work after lunch. You will also need to replace your toothbrush more often, since the braces will make it wear out quicker.

Step 1: Brush the outside of your teeth using small circular motions, making sure to include the outside of your back teeth, too.

Step 2: Start with your gums and the area between your gums and braces.  Keep the toothbrush at an angle, down for the upper teeth, up for the lower teeth. Move back and forth in a circular pattern.

Step 3: Clean under the braces and the rest of your teeth by angling the brush up to reach your upper teeth and down to reach your lower teeth.

Step 4: Brush the chewing surface of your teeth. Move the brush back and forth, careful to reach those back teeth!

Step 5: Finish your brushing session by getting those hard to reach inside parts.

After you are finished, rinse your mouth out with water. Follow with an antiseptic dental rinse.

Brush as often as possible! When you brush, make sure you get under, over, behind, and around all surfaces of the teeth and braces. Also, rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing. Use your Proxybrush between teeth, under the wire. Use Phosflur, a fluoride rinse available over the counter at drug stores, every night.

Flossing with Braces

Flossing with braces is a bit on the tricky side, so it takes a few minutes to perfect.  But don’t give up, flossing is very important to the health of your teeth.

Step 1: Thread your floss under the wire that connects your braces together.

Step 2: Once you have threaded the floss under the wire, wrap the floss around the tooth on one side. The floss is then pushed up towards the gum line and then pulled down toward the wire.  Repeat this step 5 times to remove all plaque.

Step 3: Wrap the floss around the neighbouring tooth and repeat the process on this tooth.

Once both teeth are done, pull the floss out and repeat the process for the next two teeth.

When you floss, insert the floss behind the archwire. Gently clean the sides of your teeth and under your gums with an up-and-down motion. Gently slide the floss out from between the teeth and proceed with the next tooth.

Interdental Brushing

The interdental brush is especially good in cleaning the tooth surface next to the braces.

Water Jet

The water jet is an effective tool to remove plaque and debris lodged deep between teeth and around braces. The water jet shoots a pulsing stream of water that dislodges remaining food particles. Adding an antiseptic dental rinse to the water is recommended. Use the water jet after your regular brushing and flossing routine.


An antiseptic dental rinse (Peroxyl) should be used after every meal (at least four times a day) to control minor gum inflammation and irritations that might arise from orthodontic treatment.

A fluoride rinse that helps prevent tooth decay by killing harmful bacteria and replenishing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. Rinsing does not replace brushing. You should rinse after brushing and flossing.


Be careful with your appliances when you eat. For the first few days, soft foods will be the best to eat. Please do not eat anything that is very sticky or chewy. Avoid popcorn, hard chips (like Doritos), pretzels, granola bars, nuts, ice, and all types of gum. Do not bite into anything that is hard or crunchy (pizza crusts, bagels, apples, carrots, etc.). Instead cut these things into little pieces and chew with your back teeth. Take your corn off the cob and cut meat off the bones.


It is very important to keep your teeth, gums and appliances absolutely clean throughout your treatment. At least once a day, spend a few moments with a mirror checking the appliances to make sure they are thoroughly clean and in good shape.

When your braces are placed you will be given a packet of aids for dental care while in braces, and we will go over instructions thoroughly at that time. You will receive written instructions as well. We have rewards for patients who keep their teeth clean!


"I highly recommend anyone needing orthodontics - young or old- to check out Dr. Montini. He is professional, friendly, and all about his patients having a good experience. Their facility is beautiful and very kid & adult-friendly!"

— Deb H.

"We could not be more pleased with the work that was done by Dr. Montini on my daughter's teeth. I HIGHLY recommend anyone looking for an orthodontist to look no further than Dr. Montini. He and his staff are wonderful."

— Ardis B.

"Dr. Montini and his staff are simply the best! Look no further if you are searching for a wonderful orthodontist. I couldn't be happier with how my kids are treated and how great the results have been."

— Angela B.

"Absolutely amazing, professional, and fast service. I love how passionate everyone is about helping out the people they see."

— Bobby T.

"Dr. Reid Montini has built a practice that actually makes orthodontist visits 'fun'. From superhero drawings and a video game room, your kids will actually enjoy a doctor's visit. All fun aside, Dr. Montini has true passion in making your entire family's smiles picture perfect. It is a change that will last a lifetime."

— John M.

"Dr. Montini is a warm, personable, highly trained and skilled orthodontist. I have seen truly phenomenal changes he has made in restoring proper bite in even the most difficult of cases. He not only restores the smile nature intended, but improves eating (chewing) and thus digestion, nutritional uptake, and overall health. Dr. Montini is great with kids, too!"

— Amy G.

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3201 SW 34th Ave #202, Ocala, FL 34474
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