For you, and many other patients, cleaning your teeth when you have braces can be a difficult task to begin with.
It is important not to let this inconvenience encourage you to neglect your teeth, as braces trap food and bacteria which can lead to unwanted plaque build up and infection if not taken care of.
Below you will find a list of 7 simple tips for keeping your teeth and your braces clean so that you can continue about your day stress free.
7 Tips for Cleaning Your Teeth When You Have Braces
Take Your Time
It is important not to rush when cleaning your teeth. Focus on one tooth at a time using gentle brushing, making sure the bristles reach past the wires to the teeth and brackets.
Start gently massaging the gum, then cleaning the tooth from top to bottom before reversing the direction, cleaning bottom to top. This will ensure the bristles can reach all sides of the teeth and bracket.
Also, ensure you take the time to clean the lingual side (the tongue side) of your teeth for an all over clean.
Use a Toothbrush With a Smaller Head
Using a toothbrush with a smaller, pointier, head will allow you to reach the nooks and crannies of the teeth at the back of your mouth more easily.
However, you should consult with your orthodontist first to confirm which style of brush will be the best for your situation.
You Still Need to Floss
Many people believe that it is too difficult, or impossible, to floss when they have braces. However, flossing is essential and should be part of your regular cleaning routine.
Some brands sell a style of floss with hard ends, making them easier to pass between the teeth, above the wire and brackets.
It is also a good idea to choose a wax-coated floss that will easily glide through your teeth without tearing or ripping as it rubs against the brackets.
Clean Your Teeth Every Time You Eat
As mentioned earlier, braces can trap bits of food which decay and lead to the build up of plaque and bacteria if not properly cleaned.
To avoid this and to maintain a good level of oral hygiene it is important that you regularly clean your teeth after every meal or snack.
Take a Small Brush With You
To make things easier when you’re out, it’s a good idea to keep a small brush and a tube of toothpaste with you at all times.
Many supermarkets and stores sell mini travel sized cleaning tools to make carrying around your toiletries much more manageable.
Remove Bands and Head Gear
If your braces have moving parts like little rubber bands or corrective headgear, it is always a good idea to take them off first before attempting to clean your teeth.
These items get in the way of brushes and dental floss and can also catch onto them while cleaning. This could lead to uncomfortable sensations or the need for readjustments.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Following these tips and taking the effort create a routine for everyday cleaning is definitely a good step towards maintaining oral hygiene when you have braces.
However, you’ll still need to make regular visits to your dentist so your teeth, gums and braces get the thorough cleaning they need.
Checking in regularly will also ensure your braces are working the way they need to. Your dentists can also assess your current situation and provide you with further advice for the duration of your wear.