Keeping Teeth Clean with Braces
We know that having braces is an investment into your future, so we want to make sure you’re getting the best outcome you possibly can. Keeping up with hygiene is crucial while you are in treatment. We recognize that brushing and flossing can be a little challenging with braces, but with a little patience and perseverance you will get into a routine to help maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Here are some simple steps to ensure your teeth look as good as new post braces.
Step 1: Start at the beginning
The first step in taking care of your teeth doesn’t begin with the cleaning process; it begins with the foot that you eat.. What you put in your mouth is just as important, if not more, than how well you clean your mouth.
Avoid sticky, overly chewy, hard and crunchy foods while you have your braces on.
These foods have potential to harm your braces. If a bracket breaks or moves, it can cause discomfort for you and could delay your teeth straightening schedule.
So skip the caramel apples, avoid the popcorn at the movies, and definitely avoid Jolly Ranchers! Not only will those foods make cleaning your teeth harder, they could cause cavities, gingivitis, bad breath, and more.
Step 2: Flossing!
Once you begin your cleaning process, start with the big stuff. Look in the mirror and see if anything large, or noticeable is stuck in your teeth.
While you are examining your teeth, see which of these larger items can be cleaned out with floss. If you have something larger stuck in between your brackets, interdental brushes will do the trick.
Interdental brushes are designed to get hard-to-reach areas of your mouth that your normal toothbrush cannot reach. The brushes come in different sizes, and our staff can help find a size that is right for you! By using the interdental brush, you are not just removing food from your braces, but you are also taking away reside that can turn into harmful plaque.
Floss threaders are great for getting into smaller spaces. These threaders function just as a needle does when you sew. You thread your floss between your wires to have easier access to flossing your teeth.
This in-depth flossing should be done at least once a day, especially before bed.
Step 3: Brush and brush!
After each meal, and at least twice per day, you should be regularly brushing with a soft tooth brush. Whether or not you have braces, brushing your teeth is key to basic oral hygiene. With braces, though, there is more opportunity for food, drinks, and saliva to take hold.
Brushing with a soft tooth brush allows you to give your smile a fresh, clean feeling. Plus, the soft bristles of the brush are easy to use, even with braces, to keep your smile looking its best and your mouth healthy.
Brushing should come after flossing, since everything caught in your braces have hopefully loosened and can be picked up and washed out with the toothbrush. We recommend brushing each side of your mouth – left, right, and front, on the top and bottom – for at least thirty seconds each. Three minutes later, you will have a perfectly clean and happy smile.
For an extra-clean feeling, rinse your mouth with a fluoride rinse, such as Listerine. Swish the rinse around your mouth, pushing it through your brackets and wires, and spit it out. After this routine, your breath will smell great and you will feel refreshed.
Have Braces Hygiene Questions? We Are Here For You!
By following the steps outlined above, you’re sure to not just feel better, but also have better progress and check-ups with your braces. While it may take a little time and consistency, you will be happy to reveal a bright, healthy and straight smile the day your braces come off!
We understand that these routines can take some adjusting and getting used to, especially when you are new to braces. At Authentic Orthodontics, our friendly staff is here to help you in any way we can. We want you to have the most positive experience while caring for your smile.
Have a question for us about keeping your mouth clean and cavity-free? Let’s talk! Feel free to call or email us at [email protected] with any questions you may have, we are here for you!