While the beautiful straight smile that braces can bring you is outstanding, care of your teeth will be more difficult once your braces are in place.
Braces have a multitude of tiny spaces to trap food and bacteria.
Because of this, it’s essential to brush your teeth after every meal and snack, to rinse with mouthwash, and to floss often.
This may seem boring or excessive, but neglecting your oral hygiene while wearing braces can ruin the very same smile the braces are in place to fix.
With that in mind, Ria Family Dental has a few suggestions as to how you can keep your teeth clean while wearing braces, so they can shine when the braces come off!
Get the extra equipment braces called for
Because braces add so many nooks and crannies to the area around your teeth, they are the perfect place for food bits and bacteria to combine to make plaque, then tartar.
Eventually, this process can lead to stains, cavities, and gum disease.
To fight that, here are some oral hygiene accessories you should consider if you have braces:
Interdental brush – This cone-shaped brush reaches between brackets and under wires to reach debris and gunk and flush it out before you brush and floss.
You can purchase them online, with all kinds of options.
Floss and floss threader – use floss threaders and floss just like a needle and thread to get the floss between your teeth.
Toothbrush – Just an old-fashioned soft-bristled toothbrush is fine in most cases, though there are many kinds of specialised brushes as well.
You may need to replace your toothbrush more often than the standard 3-4 months if you have braces. The brackets and wires can lead to extra wear.
Water flosser – One way to remove food, bacteria, and plaque around braces is to use a water flosser.
Look for a water flosser with an orthodontic tip, which is specially designed to work with braces.
Water flossers are clinically proven more effective than dental floss alone for people with braces.
Mirror – some come with a light, but there are also simpler versions that you can leave in a purse, wallet, or gym bag so you can make sure you haven’t missed a spot.
Brushing with Braces
Before you brush, rinse your mouth with water to loosen any food stuck in the mouth. Brush your gum line at a 45-degree angle.
Next, position the toothbrush on top of the brackets, angling down to brush on top of each bracket.
Then, reposition the toothbrush to brush the bottom of the bracket and the wire, angling the toothbrush up. Reach every tooth at the gum line as well as above and below the brackets.
Flossing with braces
The old-fashioned flossing technique is a great way to clean away food and plaque, but for people with braces, it can be a bit more difficult as working floss around brackets and wire takes time and care.
Allocate 10 to 15 minutes to floss your teeth. The only tool you will need is waxed floss, although a floss threader can help.
Don’t use unwaxed floss as it can tear and get stuck in the metal brackets.
How to use traditional floss with braces
- 18- to 24-inch piece of floss.
- Thread the floss between the primary wire and your teeth. Do this in front of a mirror if it helps you.
- Wrap the floss around your index fingers.
- Gently press the floss between the two teeth, and slide it up and down along the sides of both teeth in a U shape around each tooth.
- Remove the floss and gently pull it from behind the wire. Do not pop the floss out as this could hit the wire and pop it from the bracket.
- Move to the next two teeth and repeat.
Like your braces and teeth, your retainer should be clean. If you are not wearing your retainer, soak it in a rinse to keep it fresh and bacteria-free. You should also clean your retainer daily.
If your toothbrush is not available, there are ad-hoc ways to protect your teeth. Vigorously rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash, and then brush as soon as possible.
Also, to protect your soft tissues, you can place a special wax on braces to prevent them from chafing or cutting. This wax is available at pharmacies or your dentist.
Join the Ria Dental Family!
At Ria Family Dental in Yeronga, we provide comprehensive care addressing your short and long-term dental care and oral health needs.
We promise to provide a judgment-free but honest environment in which we practice conservative, comfortable, and convenient care that maximises your smile and oral health!
We are located at 1/451B Fairfield Rd, with Yeronga station and bus stops nearby, as well as convenient storefront parking. For the convenience of our patients, we offer early evening hours on most weeknights.