For a lot of people, braces are a necessary evil on the path to attaining a more functional and aesthetic smile. Everyone at Lewis Estates Dental Centre, and our partners at Oasis Orthodontics know what it’s like. We’ve seen the insides of hundreds of mouths and the commitments that you’ve made to improve your oral health. So it’s important to note that having braces is no excuse for slacking when it comes to brushing and flossing your teeth. On the contrary, maintaining proper oral hygiene while wearing braces is more important than ever.
Braces and brackets can keep food particles, bacteria, and plaque trapped between your teeth, risking the enamel and allowing cavities to form. The risks of improperly maintaining the health of your teeth and braces can lead to gum disease, not to mention you risk the possibility of needing to get your braces removed to deal with cavities and plaque before reaffixing them – a painful procedure, we’re sure of that!
What’s the best way to keep your teeth looking good while wearing braces? The answer’s simple: regular brushing and flossing your teeth! Be prepared to spend a few extra minutes per day doing this; braces can make brushing challenging but it’s worth the trouble and time. Keeping this habit consistent is the best way to get your teeth to look and feel great. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to brush and floss your teeth with braces.
Brushing Best Practices
Step by step, let’s learn the best practices of properly brushing. Make sure to start by rinsing with water – this can help loosen lodged food particles from your braces. Take the time to clean in and around the wires that make up your braces, moving from top to bottom, brushing your archwires from multiple angles.
When you’re ready to start brushing your teeth, take your toothbrush and gently press at a 45-degree angle, using small circular motions to get into your braces. Gently start at the top of the brackets before angling down to the bottom, spending plenty of time on each tooth. It’s advised to brush your teeth after every meal, spending the time necessary to remove food particles and bacteria.
What Brush Is The Right One For You?
When it comes to brushing with braces, the issue with using a conventional toothbrush lies in the potential to clean your teeth improperly. It’s best to invest in an orthodontic-cut toothbrush with V-shaped bristles designed to fit snugly around braces. The orthodontic-cut toothbrush is also made to better clean gums and deal with food stuck between the teeth and brackets efficiently. You can also get an electric toothbrush, specifically made to get into hard to reach places, that is perfectly suited to removing plaque on and around your teeth. Some mechanical toothbrushes have orthodontic heads available too. Some Dental professionals also recommend using a soft spiral dental brush to help clear out the spaces between braces and brackets, as required.
What About Flossing?
Flossing with braces can be difficult at first – you’ll have to spend some time practicing to get the knack of threading the floss around the wire and between the teeth. You can use a floss threader; it can be found just about everywhere and it’s indispensable in making the act of flossing with braces a whole lot easier.
With flossing, your choice of floss falls between waxed, dental tape, or super floss which is meant to thread between braces with little trouble. You’ll want to thread your choice of floss under the main wire before you pass it between two teeth, moving it up and down before cleaning the next pair, making sure not to snap the wire. It’s a must to clean between your teeth once a day, pairing flossing with a water jet or oral irrigator to remove any food particles lodged around the braces or between your teeth would provide optimal cleaning.
Taking care of your teeth and braces is a bit more work but taking the necessary precautions to ensure your braces are maintained properly is the best thing you can do to help keep your teeth aligned and closer to achieving that authentic smile you’re looking for! As always, you can call Lewis Estates Dental Centre for questions in regards to brace care – we want you to feel great about your smile!