Oral Hygiene

Now that you have your orthodontic appliances or braces in place, keeping your teeth, gums and appliances clean is most important. Braces, wires, bands and retainers all can trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Plaque is a sticky layer of harmful bacteria, food, saliva and debris which, if allowed to build up, can attack your teeth and gums, causing cavities and gum disease. Brushing and flossing after every meal and snack is the only way to prevent plaque build up, tooth decay, and gum disease.



  • Use a fluoride containing toothpaste when you brush.
  • A soft bristled brush is also recommended--change every six months.
  • Continue to use all hygiene aids (such as waterpics, electric toothbrushes, perioaids, proxybrushes, fluoride mouth rinses, etc.) that have been part of your regular routine. Remember, however, these cannot substitute for good brushing and flossing!
  • A fluoride gel may be prescribed if needed to help prevent cavities. 
  • Use an egg timer or watch to measure your brushing time. A minimum of five minutes is needed to brush correctly.
  • Use a waxed floss to help prevent fraying. A flossthreader or Super floss (threader attached) are helpful in flossing under orthodontic wires.
  • Floss, brushes, Super floss, mouth rinses, auxiliary aids, etc. are all available at the local drug store or super market. Keep a supply on hand at home, work, school or when you travel so you may clean your teeth after every meal.
  • Maintain regular three to six month regular checkups with your family dentist throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you need your orthodontic wires removed before your next dental appointment please call us. We would be happy to schedule this procedure for your dentist.
  • Avoid eating hard foods such as ice, popcorn, nuts, spare ribs or corn chips. If you eat hard fruit, vegetables or french bread, it's a good idea to cut them
    into bite size pieces first.
  • Avoid sticky foods and foods high in added sugar such as caramel, bubble gum, taffy, gummy bears, now and laters, etc.
  • When ever you have something sweet, brush your teeth and braces
    immediately afterward. Don't wait!



  • Brush the braces and teeth first. Start brushing the outside surfaces of the teeth with braces in a back and forth motion, try to brush each tooth 10 times. Continue around the outside, then the inside and finally the tops of the teeth. (Remember- outside, inside, tops!) Pay special attention to leaning the back bands completely.
  • Repeat this sequence, this time concentrating your brushing along the gum line (where the tooth and gum meet.) Brush in a small gentle circular motion, about ten times per tooth. Avoid hard scrubbing which can cause the gums to recede.
  • Brush your tongue if you can without gagging. 
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly. Pull your lips back and check in the mirror to see if you have brushed all areas. Your teeth and braces should sparkle! Touch up any areas you may have missed.



  • Don't turn on the toothbrush until it's in your mouth!
  • You don't need to press hard for the Sonicare to work. A light touch is all it takes.
  • The electronic timer beeps every 30 seconds so you can make it to the 4 different areas of your mouth and then it shuts off.
  • Please review your videotape for additional instructions.



  • Use the floss threader, as a needle and thread, and lace the floss under the wire between the teeth. Remove the floss threader, and holding the floss with the fingers of both hands, gently wipe up and down the surface of each tooth a minimum of five times. The tooth will feel "squeaky" when clean. Without removing the floss from between the teeth, move the floss to a lean section and repeat for the other surface of the adjacent tooth. Remove the floss, rethread, and repeat for each tooth. After practice, you may be able to thread the floss without the help of the floss threader.
  • Floss all teeth at least once a day. Remember, flossing is the best way to prevent plaque build-up between the teeth and gums. Without daily plaque removal from between your teeth, your gums will bleed, a first sign of gum infection, gingivitis or periodontal (gum) disease.


  • Use your tooth brush and tooth paste, scrub the plastic surface that touches the teeth, gums, or inside of your mouth.
  • Gently brush around any wires or metal parts, taking care not to bend or distort them.
  • Rinse thoroughly under cold water. The retainers should sparkle!
  • Use a denture tablet (Efferdent or Polident) once a week if necessary. Do not leave in solution for more than  ten minutes. 
  • Plaque sticks to plastic retainers very easily, so be sure to brush your retainers after every meal or snack. 
  • Rinse your retainer in mouth rinse to prevent odors and keep them tasting

We appreciate your commitment to excellence in oral hygiene. It will help you achieve a winning smile, healthy teeth and gums for years to come! Congratulations!

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Office Information


Astoria Family Orthodontics

23-12 31st Street

Astoria, NY 11105

For map & directions






Appointments & Info

Office hours are by appointment only. For more information or to make an appointment, call the office or use our contact form.


Office Hours

Monday 1:00 pm-6:30 pm

Tuesday 8:30 am-4:00 pm

Wednesday 1:00 pm-6:30 pm

Thursday 8:30 am-4:00 pm


Two Saturdays a month

8:30 am-1:30 pm 


Closed Mon./Wed. 12:00 pm-1:00 pm

Closed Tues./Thurs. 1:00 pm-2:00 pm


Closed Fridays and Sundays 

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