1. Brushing Preparation
Clean after every meal. It seems like a pain, but it is crucial! Gingivitis forms in 48 hours: it can happen from lack of brushing, flossing, or improper technique. Not brushing after eating can also cause stains on your teeth when you get your braces off. The following steps will teach you the best way to brush. Do this every day after every meal. Continue even after the Gingivitis has gone.
Rinse your mouth. Before you get started, swish some water around in your mouth. Spit, and repeat. This gets some of the loose particles of food out of your mouth.
Rinse your toothbrush. The last thing you need to do is feed your Gingivitis. Rinse your toothbrush under hot water. Run your finger up and down the bristles to rid of any food particles you left behind from last time. Rinse with cold water afterwards, if warm water feels too foreign in your mouth.
2. Brushing Techniques – Upper Jaw
Begin. Put toothpaste on your brush. With your tongue, push the toothpaste into the bristles. This makes it last longer and prevents it from falling off in mid-brush. Begin on your lower jaw. With the bristles slanted mostly to the top of your mouth (but just slightly slanted inwards towards your teeth), start brushing on the outside back of your lower jaw. The motion will be slightly moving your brush back and forth while gradually moving it up. This gets all the food out from between your brackets. Continue this around your entire lower set of braces until you’re done. Spit if necessary. Flip your toothbrush, pointing the bristles downward and slightly slanted towards your teeth. You will be continuing the same steps only moving the brush gradually downward instead. Continue around the top jaw braces until you are finished. Spit if necessary.
With your toothbrush turned downward, brush back and forth along the tops of the upper jaw braces. Flip the toothbrush and repeat along the bottoms of the lower jaw braces. This step removes some of the plaque along the part of your tooth closest to the gum line. It also dislodges any food particles stuck directly on top of your brackets.
3. Brushing Techniques – Lower Jaw
Do the opposite of what you have just completed. With the brush turned up, brush the bottoms of your upper jaw braces. So, unlike the previous steps, where the bristles are turned away from your gums, you are brushing near the tops of the teeth with the bristles pointed towards your gums. Brush back and forth to remove plaque. Flip your brush and repeat along the tops of the lower jaw braces.
Turn your bristles so that they directly face the surface of your teeth. Brush back and forth along the upper and lower jaw’s outer teeth-side (the side people see when you smile). Brush each jaw set one at a time. It is helpful to have an ortho-brush for this step, as you are cleaning the wires, but a regular toothbrush works fine. Now, bite together and brush back and forth along all your teeth. This helps you get plaque near the tops of your teeth that you may have missed if your brush slipped off your teeth. With your teeth still bit together, gently brush in circular motions.
4. Brushing Techniques – Molars
Open your mouth wide and begin brushing the tops of your teeth (such as where your molars crunch your food). Be sure to get your farthest molars (or wisdom teeth, if you have them). It is a good idea to brush the backs of your furthest-most teeth. This will be the side of those teeth exposed to the back of your throat. Many people forget to brush there, resulting in bad breath, plaque, and, yes, Gingivitis.
Continue to brush the inner teeth-sides. Back and forth, up and down, and then circular motions. The inner teeth-sides are the easiest to brush, because they are not crowded with braces (That is, of course, unless you have those types of braces. In which case, it’s recommended you follow these steps in reverse.).
5. Hard to reach places
Turn your toothbrush sideways. The toothbrush should line un-lengthwise with the spaces in your teeth. Brush back and forth along all the spaces, adjusting the toothbrush as you move. This scrubs the easier-to-reach places in between your teeth.
Focus on your actual mouth. It is infested with germs! That doesn’t help the Gingivitis, as it thrives off of germs, plaque, and food. Spit if necessary before you begin (it doesn’t matter). Using your toothbrush, start to gently brush the gums above (or below) your teeth. After this, turn the brush 180 degrees to face your cheek. The cheek is harder to brush, but secure it with your other hand if it gets too difficult. Spit. Turn the brush downwards and brush the soft bottom and gums where your tongue lays. Brush underneath your tongue, and then the roof of your mouth. Finally, stick your tongue out and brush it. Be sure to breathe out of your mouth, otherwise you’ll start gagging. Spit and rinse your mouth and toothbrush.
6. Final Steps
Check your teeth. Do they look clean? If you see any plaque or food, take your rinsed toothbrush and brush it away. If you feel like it, brush them over (any way you’d like) really quickly to get rid of anything you might have missed.
If you have an End-Tufted Brush, please continue with this step. Otherwise, skip it. Rinse off your ET (End-Tufted) Brush. WITHOUT putting paste on it, brush over the tops of your brackets. Most brackets have holes in them (very hard to see) so try wiggling the ET Brush down into each bracket. Continue this with the bottoms of the brackets. Lightly brush each tooth, but put a lot of focus on brushing in between teeth. Rinse and spit if necessary.
Time to floss. Take a long piece of string floss, wrap it around your finger, and wiggle it into each tooth space. Try to bend the string around the teeth on each side of it instead of flossing straight and true. That will remove any plaque stuck there. If you have finishing wires, it is almost impossible to get the floss underneath or over your double sets of wires, so just push the floss down, as described, into the tooth space. However, if you do not have your finishing wires, it’s recommended threading the floss underneath or over your wires, as this is the most effective way to rid of the Gingivitis and clean your teeth.
After flossing, use mouthwash for 30 seconds. It would be most suitable to use one that helps rid your mouth of Gingivitis. Spit and do a quick rinse with a bit of water.
If you would like more information about your braces and how to take care of them, check out this interactive brochure.
Gargle with salt water twice a day – in the morning and evening. It stings if you have a sore, but it kills it. It works likewise with Gingivitis, both the gargling and salt water.
Cut back or avoid sugar completely. Sugary foods and soda rot your teeth and cause plaque, which in turn causes Gingivitis. Check out another wikiHow for details on quitting bad habits.
Eat fruit and fiber. Vitamins and minerals found in these foods helps you fight and keep off Gingivitis. It also sustains good health.
Use these tips to rid of Gingivitis and keep it from coming back. Now go out there and flaunt your beautiful smile.