Having braces is a big step toward having a beautiful, functional and healthy smile for the rest of your life. In order to make sure you get the best possible result from your braces treatment, you’ll need to be especially dedicated to your oral hygiene routine. Braces create a lot of new places for food and bacteria to hide and potentially cause problems like decay and bad breath. Here are a few tips to keep your smile fresh and healthy when you have braces!
Brushing With Braces
Contrary to what some people believe, brushing your teeth doesn’t change very much when you have braces. However, it is extra important to be thorough. If you don’t brush your teeth properly when you have braces, you can end up with stains on your teeth around the brackets, which will leave behind a bracket-shaped mark on your teeth after the brackets are removed at the end of your treatment. You should brush after every meal, being sure the bristles get under the arch wire and reach the sides of the brackets. You may have to try out some new angles with your toothbrush to order to get at all the surfaces of your teeth and brackets.
Also contrary to rumors we’ve heard, you can absolutely use an electric toothbrush such as a Sonicare or Oral-B when you have braces.
Flossing With Braces
Flossing is a little trickier with braces, but still absolutely necessary. To floss effectively, you will need to thread the floss under the arch wire as you clean each pair of teeth. This makes flossing with braces a little more time consuming, but it will get faster as you get the hang of it. There are also tools called floss threaders that can help make this process easier. You can find them at drugstores and supermarkets, or order them online.
Adding to Your Dental Care Routine With Braces
There are a few other specialized tools that can help you maintain your oral hygiene when you have braces.
Inderdental brushes are thin cone-shaped brushes that sort of resemble a tiny pipe cleaner. You can use these to get to tricky spaces between teeth or along the sides of brackets.
Many patients also find a Waterpik as a helpful addition to flossing. A Waterpik is a small tool that shoots a thin jet of water to gently clean between teeth and other hard-to-reach areas.
And don’t forget to visit us regularly for your teeth cleaning appointments during your braces treatment. There’s nothing as smooth and fresh as a professionally cleaned smile!