Oral Hygiene

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Oral Hygiene Tips from Your Fairlawn, OH Orthodontists

At Drs. Najem & Lehky Orthodontics, we provide quality orthodontic care using Invisalign, Incognito lingual braces and more for patients near our Fairlawn, and Cortland OH offices, but treatment is only part of a healthy beautiful smile. Good oral hygiene is the key to healthy teeth and gums, and it's even more important when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. There is more to care for with the addition of wires, brackets and bands on your teeth along with the added challenge of getting into those hard to reach spots. Using the correct brushing and flossing technique in your regular regimen is crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth. Read below for oral hygiene tips from our Akron orthodontists.


When brushing your teeth, make sure you also brush between the brackets and gums because of all the places food can become stuck in your braces. Use a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste.


Remember to floss at least once a day. In order to get between the archwire and the teeth, use a floss threader.

  • Step 1: Pull the floss through the threader.
  • Step 2: Push the threader between the archwire and teeth, pulling the floss through.
  • Step 3: Slide the floss between your teeth and using and up and down motion, clean both teeth all the way under the gums.
  • Step 4: Pull the floss out and repeat the same steps with a new section of floss for the next tooth.


After brushing and flossing, always rinse your mouth with water or antiseptic dental rinse. Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks while helping to prevent infection and decrease irritation.

You can use Peroxyl up to four times a day following your brushing schedule. Use two teaspoons (half a capful) to rinse your mouth for one minute and then spit it out.

Interdental Toothbrush

An interdental toothbrush, also known as a proxabrush, is a very useful tool to help keep your mouth clean and healthy when you have braces. You can use the small brush to clean in the hard to reach areas such as under the archwire or around the brackets. Be careful when using the interdental toothbrush so to not damage your braces.

Retainer Care

Just like your teeth, retainers can accumulate food particles and plaque, so it's important that you brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth. To help prevent build-up and oral infections, soak your retainer in a glass of room temperature water with Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet at least once a day. Do not use hot water, which can warp your retainer.

Foods to Avoid

When you first get your braces on or after you have them tightened, your teeth can be a little sore, so we recommend a soft food diet during these times, but you can eat most other foods with the following guidelines:

  • Cut chewy foods: Cut chewy foods into smaller bite-size pieces
  • Eat sliced vegetables and fruit
  • Avoid sticky foods: Bubble gum, jelly beans and sticky fruit snacks
  • Avoid hard, crunchy foods: Hard candy and peanut brittle
  • Limit sugary foods: Sweets and soft drinks that can cause tooth decay under the appliances

Topical Fluoride

To help prevent tooth decay while wearing braces, use Phos-Flur, a sodium fluoride gel, following your daily brushing schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of Phos-Flur on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. You may not eat or drink for 30 minutes after you use Phos-Flur. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes, so do not wash it away by eating or drinking.

Contact Drs. Najem & Lehky Orthodontics

By following a good oral hygiene regimen during your treatment, you will do your part in putting your best smile forward. If you are a current patient with questions or a new patient interested in treatment, please contact our Fairlawn orthodontist office at (330) 864-3331 and Cortland orthodontist office at (330) 638-7004  We also proudly serve the surrounding communities of Akron and Warren, OH with quality orthodontic care that you can proud of!