Doctor's Answers (1)
I usually recommend that all my patients use electric toothbrushes. I find that most patients tend to brush more thoroughly with electric toothbrushes compared to manual toothbrushes because they can focus more on getting the brush to hit the right areas on the tooth.
Some electric toothbrushes have built-in timers to ensure that each section of the mouth gets equal attention during brushing and that you spend a minimum of 2 minutes brushing the entire mouth. You may choose to brush a second time, focusing on certain areas that are more difficult to clean.
Regular dental floss can only be used with a floss threader, which is difficult to use. I usually prescribe special orthodontic floss picks (Platypus) or a selection of different interdental brushes of different sizes for cleaning in between the teeth and around the brackets.
Your dentist/orthodontist will be able to guide you on which cleaning tools will suit you best by trying them out in your mouth.
Most patients have a preference for a certain type of tool and dentists generally don't mind which you use, so long as you are able to use them effectively.
If your dentist notices a lot of plaque at your adjustment visits, then you may need to rethink your home care routine.
Plaque disclosure is another useful method for patients to visualize plaque (which is clear or tooth-coloured) and check that they have cleaned their mouth thoroughly. Your dentist may prescribe plaque disclosing tablets or gel for home use.