Having braces results in a beautiful smile, and it’s equally important to ensure that the smile remains a healthy one. Braces increase the possibility of plaque buildup mainly because food debris is attracted to the brackets and wires, creating a shelf around the outside of the teeth, making them harder to clean. Plaque stains the teeth and also wears away tooth enamel. The braces themselves come in between you and your teeth, making it extremely difficult to clean your braces and teeth correctly. Below are some tips on how you can properly clean your teeth when you have braces!
How To Keep Your Teeth Clean With Braces:
- Choose the correct toothbrush:
Keep in mind that it is crucial to clean the upper part of your teeth between your gums and brackets. Choose a toothbrush with softer bristles and direct it at an angle towards the gums to avoid any irritation.
- Avoid using too much toothpaste:
It will be more difficult to see the plaque and debris due to the foam created from toothpaste. Begin by brushing your teeth with just a wet toothbrush to allow you to clean between wires and around the brackets. Rather than scrubbing, follow an exact, picking motion. Then after that, you can add a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and keep cleaning.
- Brush after each meal:
Brace wires attract food debris, and frequent brushing will help avoid plaque. Anytime you expect to eat, you should bring your toothbrush. In a situation where you don’t have one available, consider rinsing with water for 30 seconds. An exception to this is if you eat acidic foods like oranges or sports drinks, you should wait 30 minutes to an hour before brushing because doing this can soften tooth enamel.
- Brush for two minutes:
Brush your teeth for two minutes by spending 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth – lower right, upper right, lower left, and upper left. Ensure you clean both the inner and outer sides of teeth and set a timer to be sure you brush for a whole two minutes.
- Use a mouthwash at night:
Search for an anti-cavity, fluoride mouthwash that will protect enamel and reduce tooth decay. Rinse for one minute to help remove any remaining debris stuck inside your braces. After rinsing, use the mirror to check for any missed spots.
- Use a floss threader:
Flossing is one of the most challenging aspects of tooth care in braces. To make it easier to guide it through the wire, tie the floss to a threader. Then, in a saw-like motion, remove plaque and debris. You may also want to consider buying a Waterpik water flosser – an easy, quick way to floss because it cleanses with a stream of water.
Gentle Dental provides Southern Maine with the very best family dental services. If you have any questions about the dentistry services we provide at our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Give us a call at one of our offices or fill out the contact form on our website!