Posted .

At Patritto Orthodontics, Dr. Dwayne Patritto and our experienced team have been providing comprehensive orthodontics for our patients in Ottumwa, Iowa, for a long time. Today we would like to talk a little bit about how to care for your smile when you are wearing braces.


Straightening your smile is a wonderful time in your life, a time when you are actively pursuing the smile of your dreams. This is also a time when your oral hygiene is crucial, as brackets and wires can trap food particles and harbor bacteria which lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

We recommend that you brush your teeth every time you eat, including meals and snacks, instead of just twice a day. You can use a manual toothbrush or an electric/battery powered toothbrush, whichever works best for you. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush, and carefully clean each tooth around the brackets and gumline. Start with the gumline, then brush up and down around each bracket. Rinse thoroughly to make sure all oral debris is removed.


When you floss, be sure to clean the areas between the teeth as well as the tooth surfaces underneath the wires. Find a flossing method that works best for you, and use it. We recommend flossing once a day, at the very least. You can use waxed dental floss, a threaded floss, an oral irrigator, an interdental brush or an orthodontic floss which is specifically designed to clean around brackets and wires.

If you are eating away from home and forgot to bring a toothbrush, don’t worry. You can still remove food particles and debris after eating by rinsing well with water or mouthwash. Follow up with a thorough tooth brushing as soon as you can.

If you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dwayne Patritto in Ottumwa, Iowa, please give us a call at 641-682-8143 today. Our Patritto Orthodontics team looks forward to helping you maintain your healthy, beautiful smile!