While braces are annoying, they are a necessary part of having beautiful, picture perfect teeth. In order to make sure your smile looks fabulous when you finally get the metal off, it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of the teeth beneath. For that reason, you’ll need to learn how to properly brush with braces. Here are a few ways to keep your pearly whites healthy and strong even when you have braces.
The Best Technique When You Brush With Braces
Because braces cover up so much of your teeth’s surface, they can often make it hard to reach certain areas of your mouth. You’ll have to slightly adjust your usual brushing habits to account for this. Before you start, make sure to rinse your mouth with some water to help loosen any food that’s wedged in between your brackets and wires.
Next, fill your interdental toothbrush with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste and begin brushing your gums at a 45-degree angle. After your gums are clean, work your way down on top of the brackets, turning the toothbrush at an angle to scrape off any residue. Switch to the bottom edge of the brackets once you’ve scrubbed all of the top portions.
It’s important to take your time here and make sure that each tooth is getting cleaned at the gum line and between each bracket. Ideally, you’ll want to spend 25 to 30 seconds on each bracket to make sure it’s totally clean.
The Best Flossing Technique
Just because you have wires between your teeth doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for flossing. Instead of sticking with normal floss, try using a floss threader or pick that can move between the wires. Additionally, you can use the pick to scrape out any stubborn food that’s wedged through your brackets.
You might even want to consider investing in a water flosser, as this makes it really simple to remove plaque that’s stuck on brackets and teeth. You’ll even be able to access hard-to-reach spots where a toothbrush and string floss just won’t cut it.
Add in Mouthwash
Even with your best efforts, you might have missed hidden pockets of plaque and bacteria on your teeth. That’s why it’s best to finish off with a fluoride mouthwash to protect against decay. You can also consider rinsing with a saltwater mix, as this has the added benefit of soothing any sores you have on the inside of your mouth.
Maintain a Routine
Sticking to a normal brushing and flossing schedule is even more important with braces. Because braces trap and hold food in your mouth, they can increase your chances of developing gingivitis or tooth decay. They can even lead to decalcification, which is when your teeth develop irreversible white spots due to an overabundance of plaque and acid production.
It’s also important to schedule regular cleanings with your dentist or orthodontist. They have special tools which can give your mouth a deep clean and help prevent gingivitis.
Do you have braces and need to get a cleaning? Dr. Mann can help! Just give us a call today to schedule your checkup.