A question everyone needs answered is, how do I brush my teeth while I’m wearing braces? It’s an important question, so here is some advice that will help you keep your teeth clean and gums healthy.
Most of us don’t spend enough time brushing our teeth and if you’re also dealing with braces you’ll need to spend extra time caring for them. Just putting the toothpaste on a brush and brushing around won’t be enough to keep your teeth and braces clean.
It’s recommended that you spend about 2 minutes brushing your teeth twice a day to keep teeth clean and remove plaque and food debris. When wearing braces, you’ll need to change the way you usually brush. A soft brush is suggested for cleaning around braces. Slant your toothbrush to a 45 degree angle and vibrate quickly back and forth around the braces using small strokes.
Another option is to purchase a good electric toothbrush, be sure to research that it’s recommended for braces before you buy. It can help you brush between your teeth and braces with ease.
Flossing Teeth While Wearing Braces
Your dentist will tell you to floss often, especially when wearing braces, and suggest that you floss using floss threaders. Your dentist will teach you how to use them and advise that it will take longer than usual to floss your teeth.
Luckily there are other options available that take less time while keeping your teeth and gums healthy while wearing braces.
Using the floss threaders requires you to thread around every tooth and does take a little longer. However, there are interproximal brushes available. They look similar to a pipe cleaner, come in different sizes, and are disposable. The smaller size would probably work best for flossing around braces where your toothbrush cannot reach.
The easiest way to floss while wearing braces is to use a Waterpik. A Waterpik is effective in removing food and particles around your teeth. It uses water pressure, so it’s much messier than using floss, and you may need to clean the sink or counter after using!
If You Don’t Brush Your Braces
Imagine, you’ve just spent one or two years wearing braces, and now that they’re off your teeth are nice and straight. But now your problem is white spots on your teeth! They are commonly known as “decalcification” which is caused from plaque left on your teeth where bacteria has grown and began breaking down the enamel. Over time, they may even turn brown; however, there are some treatments available to minimize the spots.
Not brushing correctly can also cause your gums to become irritated. You may experience excessive bleeding or puffy gums. Prevention is always the best method to avoid complications. It’s easier to spend a little extra time brushing and flossing so you don’t have to repeat or extend the time you wear braces.
Your orthodontist checks your teeth regularly and can advise you if additional flossing or brushing is necessary. To avoid delays in your treatment, be sure to always follow any instructions as you don’t want to wear the braces any longer than necessary.
Foods to Avoid
It’s best to avoid or at least limit some foods while wearing braces. Certain foods such as sugary foods, chips, crackers, acidic or sugary drinks, can cause decalcified white spots to develop, even if you brush and floss frequently.
Regular Dentist Checkup
Don’t avoid your regular six month checkups with your dentist. It’s important to continue these checkups while wearing braces because your dentist can be sure your teeth are getting properly cleaned. They are able to clean around your braces where tartar builds to help avoid decalcification or gingivitis. If there are any issues or concerns, talk with your dentist. They may suggest additional fluoride treatments or a stronger fluoride toothpaste to help prevent decay or cavities.
If you don’t have Braces yet… Maybe Invisalign would be better for you!
Always discuss your concerns with your dentist. Follow his or her advice to achieve the results for a bright, happy, and healthy smile.
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About Tri-State Family Dentistry
Tri-State Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care possible. Being privately owned since 2009, we don’t experience the corporate pressure that other dental practices have to hit certain revenue numbers. You will never be ‘sold’ dentistry at Tri-State Family Dentistry. After we explain your treatment options, you can make your own decisions.