When you have braces, brushing your teeth is a new adventure. With all those brackets and wires taking up space in your mouth, you may find yourself wondering how you’re ever going to get your teeth clean–and that’s assuming that you don’t have food stuck in embarrassing spots! By following these steps from Dr. Hamer and Dr. Glassick, however, you’ll be able to brush your teeth effectively and prevent yourself from developing cavities or weak spots in your teeth during your orthodontic treatment. Don’t skip out on brushing just because it feels time consuming or difficult. Instead, dedicate yourself to taking care of your teeth the right way while you have braces.
Step One: Rinse
Start by rinsing your mouth with water before you pull out your toothbrush. This will help to remove loose food particles around your braces and make it easier for you to take care of the rest of your brushing responsibilities.
Step Two: Brush at a 45 Degree Angle
Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth. Brush carefully on top of and around all of your brackets. Make sure you get the tops, bottoms, and sides around the bracket, not just the top surface. A small, single-bristle brush can help you get between your brackets more effectively. Many orthodontists also recommend using an electric toothbrush, if possible, to get the best possible clean while you’re wearing your braces. Don’t forget to brush your tongue while you’re brushing! This will help remove the bacteria that cause bad breath.
Step Three: Floss
Flossing your teeth every day is a great habit to get into whether you’re wearing braces or not, but when you have braces, it may feel like a daunting responsibility! The good news is, flossing with braces doesn’t have to be a big challenge. By using floss threaders, you’ll be able to easily thread the floss into the large loop, then use the threader to slide the floss under your wires. Then, floss your teeth normally. Those extra few minutes to floss can make a big difference. After all, you don’t want to spend all that time and money on braces only to lose your teeth to cavities!
Step Four: Rinse Again
Once you’ve brushed your teeth, it’s time to rinse again. If you’re on the go at school or out at a restaurant, brushing your teeth after a meal instead of brushing your teeth at the end of the night, water will help clear your mouth of any remaining food particles. At the end of the day, however, you should use the mouthwash recommended by your dentist or orthodontist, which will help remove plaque, decrease inflammation around your cheeks and gums, and improve your overall oral health.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
The right toothbrush is an essential part of brushing your teeth, especially when you have braces. With braces, it’s essential that you don’t brush too hard and accidentally damage your brackets, wires, or appliances. As a result, a soft-bristled toothbrush is often one of the best options for individuals with braces. Electric toothbrushes can also help you get a better clean.
Brushing your teeth when you have braces is an important part of keeping your teeth healthy and making your smile bright. Make sure that you’re brushing for at least 2-3 minutes each time you brush. When you have braces, brushing after every meal is a great way to ensure that your teeth stay clean and cavity-free, not to mention protecting you from that dreaded moment when you give someone a big smile, only to discover that you have food trapped between your brackets. By following these steps, you can set yourself up for success and when your braces come off, you’ll be grateful for the bright smile that you’ve worked so hard to keep.
The team at Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics is always happy to help you with any questions you have about proper tooth care while wearing braces. Ask any team member during your next appointment, and they will demonstrate the technique. We can’t wait to see you!