Oral Hygiene Tips For Braces


Brush and Floss

Practicing good oral hygiene is vital to maintaining a healthy mouth, with or without braces. Good cleaning habits are even more important with braces as food particles accumulate around them. Failure to keeping your teeth clean during orthodontic treatment can result in swollen gums and gum disease, decalcification (permanent white spots), and cavities. Here are some brushing tips from VanderWall Orthodontics to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy during treatment.

1. Make sure you spend enough time to do a thorough job. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for 2 minutes and that is WITHOUT braces. You should spend at least that amount of time brushing your teeth with braces and don’t forget to look in the mirror to see if you missed any areas. Remember, when it comes to brushing, quality (effective cleaning) is more important than quantity (time spent brushing). And make sure you concentrate on the area between the braces and the gums where food/plaque tend to accumulate.

2. Be prepared to brush after every meal. That means taking time at school or work to brush after lunch and snacks. Always keep a travel toothbrush and paste in your school bag, purse, or computer bag.

3. Use dental floss regularly. Food becomes trapped between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. There are aids to help making flossing easier with braces. Floss threaders and Superfloss® help you get the floss under the wire and are easy to learn to use. You can also use interdental brushes and a Waterpik® to help remove food from between the teeth, but they don’t replace regular flossing.

4. Using an over-the-counter fluoride rinse before bed is beneficial in making the teeth more resistant to cavities and helping prevent decalcification. Options found at the drugstore include ACT® fluoride rinse and Phos-Flur®.

5. Regular dental cleanings and checkups are still very important while wearing braces. Good daily home care should help prevent plaque and tartar build-up, but you still need to visit your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings every 6-months while in treatment.

Please let a VanderWall Orthodontics Team Member know if you have questions about maintaining healthy teeth and gums during your time in braces.

Facial Protection Month


San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks

April is National Facial Protection Month, and VanderWall Orthodontics wants to remind athletes and their parents and coaches to play it safe when suiting up for recreational and organized sports. Remember to wear your mouth guard to preserve your teeth, whether at practice, at a game, or playing in the neighborhood.

  • The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year.
  • The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation forecasted that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in youth sporting events in 2014. They also say that athletes who do not wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to sustain damage to their teeth.
  • In a recent survey, the American Association of Orthodontists found that 70 percent of parents said their biggest fear is that their child will get hurt while playing organized sports, yet 67 percent admitted that their child does NOT wear a mouth guard during organized sports including football, basketball, soccer and lacrosse.

Using a mouth guard is a simple way to prevent or lessen the severity of oral injuries. Please remember to use the “braces friendly” mouth guard given you to by VanderWall Orthodontics, instead of the boil-and-bite style that can damage your braces. Please ask a Team Member if you have any questions.


The Team at VanderWall Orthodontics

National Children’s Dental Health Month


Healing teethThe official National Children’s Dental Health program first began in Cleveland, Ohio when the American Dental Association (ADA) observed it’s first Children’s Dental Health day in 1941. In 1949, it was evolved into a weeklong event.  In 1981, the program was developed in the National Children’s Dental Month by the ADA and is celebrated every February.

The purpose of National Children’s Dental Health Month is to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good oral habits at a young age and scheduling regular dental visits help children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

When kids wear braces, brushing and flossing effectively becomes more difficult. Therefore, it requires extra time and effort to keep teeth and gums clean as food accumulates around the braces. By not keeping teeth and gums clean during treatment, you increase the risk of developing gum disease, permanent ‘white spots’ on teeth, and cavities. Poor oral hygiene can also increase time in braces and compromise the final result. The team at VanderWall Orthodontics is available and happy to explain why effective brushing and flossing is one of the most critical aspects of your orthodontic treatment.