Learn How to Brush and Floss with Braces
Once your braces come off it will be much easier to keep your teeth clean and healthy but until then you need to be very thorough when it comes to brushing and flossing with braces. Here are some tips to help you maintaining good oral health during your orthodontic treatment:
Brushing With Braces
When you have braces there are certain procedures you need to follow, and proper brushing is definitely one of the big ones. Before you start brushing you need to make sure you remove any orthodontic appliances. This includes elastics or rubber bands given to you by your orthodontist.
Rinsing with water before you brush your teeth is always a good way to start. Rinsing before you brush can help flush out anything that may be stuck in your braces.
Brushing your braces is also recommended seeing as they can hold a lot of things like food, plaque etc.
However, don’t scrub at your wires and brackets. Gently brushing around the wires and pins will prevent them from breaking as well as clean them. While brushing the wires it’s better to move top to bottom as well as brushing all around the teeth. When it comes to brushing your teeth it’s recommended to brush for two minutes three times a day.
Another good tip for brushing would be to start at the gumline at a 45-degree angle. When cleaning the brackets start at the top and make a flicking motion down. This will help you reach the tooth surface as well as properly clean the bracket.
If you don’t clean your braces properly they can cause permanent damage to the enamel of your teeth. This can be a serious issue because it can’t be reversed. Areas on the surface of your enamel may begin to lose minerals which will leave white spots on your teeth.
The type of toothpaste you use can also have an impact on your teeth. For example, whitening toothpaste. This can cause your teeth to whiten, however, won’t penetrate the surface under the brackets which will leave you with discolouration marks when your braces come off.
Flossing With Braces
Flossing should be done once a day along with brushing. With braces, it can be challenging when it comes to flossing your teeth. Orthodontists can provide tools to help you make flossing easier with your braces.
They can provide you with what are called “soft picks”. Basically, they’re little picks that can go between your teeth the same way floss does, but they can better maneuver around braces. They can also clean behind your braces since they bend. Soft picks are gentle on your gums and clinically proven to help remove plaque.
You can also use what’s called a floss threader. A floss threader is designed to thread dental floss under the braces. Plaque can become easily trapped under braces so it’s best to use something like this to reach and help eliminate the plaque.
Examine Your Braces
Your braces are easier to break than you think. Even though they’re made of wire and brackets they’re still delicate. It’s good to always check your braces to make sure they’re still intact. Especially after brushing. Having regular checkups with your orthodontist can help prevent any accidents.
Watch What You Eat
With braces, you need to be more conscious when it comes to the food you eat. Too much sugar or starch-filled foods can actually create more plaque around the brackets of your braces. When this happens it can cause your teeth to stain, cause cavities, or even lead to early stages of gum disease.
Avoiding sticky and chewy foods are another recommendation for those with braces. Food such as:
- Dried fruit
- Corn on the cob
- Chewy candy
- Some chocolate bars
All of these can easily become stuck in your braces and hard to remove.
There are also some hard foods that should be avoided when you have braces, like:
- Beef Jerky
- Raw apples and carrots
These can break the wires of the brackets. Before eating any crunchy foods you should cut them into small pieces.
Healthy Teeth with Braces
Wearing braces presents a number of unique challenges that can be difficult to overcome. From confidence issues to watching what you eat, there are a lot of reasons that people struggle with braces. Yet, the benefits of having braces far outweigh the drawbacks.
When you’re brushing and flossing with braces in your mouth, it just takes time and practice to get used to the extra steps you need to take. After you’ve had your braces for awhile, these little challenges will fade away and you’ll be left with a healthier smile!