Dr. Christopher Maulik: My name is Dr. Chris Maulik, I am an Orthodontist in San Diego, California. This is in regards to how to brush with braces.
What this is, is a timer, it's just a basic timer. This is something that I give out to all patients when they first get their braces on. What the importance of the timer is that most people when they brush their teeth, they will only brush for 15 seconds or 30 seconds.
What's important is that you spend a certain amount of time brushing. I would like to see a minimum of 2 minutes brushing. This timer is a 2 minute timer. You can use anything as a timer, you can use the radio, you can use your iPod, you can listen to any song. Most songs are at least 2 minutes in length. So make sure that you brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes in the morning and at least 2 minutes at night. That's the most important part of when you are brushing, is that you spend a certain amount of time. What I am going to go over is what happens if you don't brush your teeth while with braces.
What you can get is you can see here are what called white spots around your teeth. As you see most often they are along the gum line because that's most often the part that people neglect when they brush. The braces will sit right here, the problem isn't underneath the braces, it's actually up above the braces, between the gum line and the braces.
That is the beginnings of a cavity that's forming. The problem with these white spots is that once you get these white spots on your teeth, they will never go away, they are permanent and you will always have them. So it's very important to brush your teeth and specially along the gum line, so that you don't start to get these white spots around your teeth.
Another problem that happens when you don't brush your teeth well enough is that you start to get very puffy and swollen gums, gums that will bleed very easily. Those are irritated gums that are basically infected with bacteria and plaque. So you will need to make sure that you brush well, so that your gums arent red and puffy and irritated because overtime if long enough, that can cause what's called periodontal disease which is bone loss of your teeth that's holding the teeth in place.
Next, I am going to cover foods to avoid with your braces.