You’ve just started your braces journey–Congratulations! You’ve begun your first step towards a better smile. And for many patients, keeping your teeth clean is one of the first problems they face on their journey. Flossing between wires and brushing over brackets can be tricky. Don’t stress. We can help. Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics is here to help keep your smile in pristine condition during your treatment so when your braces come off, your smile will really shine. Let’s take a look at a couple of tips from our team for brushing your teeth with your braces on.
Find The Right Toothpaste
Your teeth need the right ingredients to stay in pristine condition, and not every toothpaste brand is up to the task. Choosing the right toothpaste can depend on your specific needs, and our doctors can give you recommendations that will work well for your unique smile.
The one commonality of quality toothpaste brands is the ingredient fluoride. Fluoride is a common natural mineral that fights cavities and protects your tooth’s outer layer of enamel. The American Dental Association recommends toothpaste with fluoride to combat and neutralize bacteria. Studies from the ADA even show that an approved dose of fluoride is crucial for dental health.
Just like with any other product you purchase, toothpaste with the approved amount of fluoride comes in many different strengths and flavors for a variety of different kinds of patients. There are even fun ADA and kid-approved options like “Wild Strawberry” and “Blue Raspberry” from Hello Kids, and Tom’s of Maine Natural Fluoride Toothpaste for children in “Outrageous Orange Mango.” No matter your age or where you are in the treatment process, there is optimal toothpaste for every patient.
Floss Twice a Day
Flossing is one of the most overlooked steps of the oral hygiene routine, even though it’s one of the most practical steps. This is especially true when you have braces’ hardware making the task a bit more complicated. This step is important as debris, plaque, and bacteria can become lodged between teeth and brackets and lead to tooth decay or gum disease, like gingivitis. Tools like floss threaders and Waterpiks are helpful if you’re having trouble with getting a thorough floss underneath the wires. Your orthodontist will likely provide you with these tools, like an interdental proxy brush, to help make this process easier.
Rinse Again, Then Rinse Again
Brackets and wires can create small gaps where food and debris can get easily lost in those empty spaces. Usually, the particles stuck here are large enough to be noticeable and easily dislodged with a bit of rinsing. If you can’t brush immediately after a meal, be sure to rinse your mouth as thoroughly and often as possible. To remove any loose food bits that may have gathered underneath and around the brackets, gargle warm water and spit it into the sink before brushing. You may need to do this a couple of times to get out the hard-to-reach debris. Rinse until the water you spit is clear. Once there are no longer pieces of grime, you can start brushing your teeth.
Remember To Brush Your Gums
Once your braces are applied, there may be a brief experience of minor gum sensitivity or inflammation, but this will go away quickly. While this happens, make sure you are brushing not just the brackets and wires on the front faces of your teeth but also give your gums a thorough cleaning too to get the plaque and debris that builds up there as well. On top of that, brushing below your teeth provides a little massage for sore gums and can even stimulate blood flow to the area to help them heal quicker.
Your Brackets and Wires Need Cleaning Too
It can be frustrating trying to figure out how to thoroughly clean your teeth with a lot of metalwork in the way. On the whole, it’s the same process as brushing your teeth without braces. But once your brackets are on, you will need to adjust your brush placement to get a good angle to reach everything. Brushing down from the top of the bracket, up from the bottom, and in a circular motion around them will help get to those hard-to-reach places.
Search for clean, shiny braces with the edge of the brackets clearly visible. Fuzzy or dull metal indicates poor brushing. Don’t apply too much pressure to damage the wires or brackets themselves. If you are using an electric toothbrush, dial back the intensity or even opt for a standard brush as you get to the pressure needed to clean your teeth with braces properly.
For Good Measure, Rinse Again
Nothing gets into the hard-to-reach places better than fluoride liquid. After you have brushed and flossed your teeth, it’s good to rinse your mouth out again with warm water to get any loose particles knocked free during the process. Rinsing with a good mouthwash can provide a long-lasting defense against plaque and bad breath.
Take Your Time
At Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics, we know that braces take time and effort. Oral health takes a lot of care and attention without braces, and the added complications of brackets and wires being in the way can make you want to rush and skip necessary steps. But, it is essential to take your time when brushing with braces to ensure the best results in the long run.
Find your best smile at Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics
It’s exciting as you work towards the day you achieve your perfect smile, and keeping your teeth clean under the treatment is a big part of that. And our office is here to help you out. Our experienced orthodontists have the education, skills, and training to give you a beautiful smile with long-lasting results you’ll love. There’s never been a better time to take the first step towards improved oral health, so get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Glassick or Dr. Hamer!