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A 35-year-old member asked:

i've been wearing braces lately and i only wash my mouth after meals but i don't brush after meals. is that okay?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Oral hygiene: The cleaner your mouth, the healthier your gums, the faster your teeth will move and the sooner your braces will come off. It's bacteria that cause problems. Be sure to brush 2 full minutes by the clock 2 times per day. Be sure to clean between teeth daily. These are minimum oral hygiene requirements. Anything done in addition to the minimum requirements is a bonus.
Dr. Sandra Eleczko
Dentistry 36 years experience
Oral hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean even more important while wearing braces. Follow the oral hygiene schedule that your orthodontist gave you. Brushing twice a day may not be enough. Rinsing is good but brushing would be better. Maybe keep a toothbrush in your purse or desk at work so you can use it after lunch.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
Ortho hygiene: Food that collects around your braces can cause cavities ; white decalcification spots that may not be evident until after your braces come off. You are investing a lot of time ; money for a great bite and smile. Without brushing ; flossing regularly, you increase the risk of these problems. Merely rinsing is seldom sufficient to not run into problems. Your own orthodontist can monitor ; advise.

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Last updated Jan 30, 2014

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