Getting braces can be a tough adjustment. The hardware takes some getting used to, but knowing a brilliant smile is on the other side makes it all worth while. One of the biggest obstacles when wearing braces is learning how to clean your teeth. It can be hard to brush and floss with all the wires and brackets in the way. Not to mention, the space between brackets and the surface of your teeth leaves more room for food particles to get stuck in. Here are three tips to help clean your teeth with braces to maintain your best oral health.
1. Take it seriously. Wouldn’t it be great if it were just as easy to clean your teeth with braces as it is without? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. With braces, extra attention is important to ensure your oral care routine is on point. With braces, germs have more places to hide, resulting in an increased amount of plaque biofilm. Properly removing food particles between meals will help prevent cavities, bad breath, and gum disease resulting from residual bacteria.
2. Get the right tools. It’s recommended for those with braces to use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a compact head. Electric or manual options are equally effective for cleaning your braces. The important thing is to brush back and forth while holding the brush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line. Don’t skip the top and bottom parts of the brackets, since this is where a lot of the food particles tend to collect. For flossing, braces wearers can use a threader for more range in tight spaces. The threader weaves the floss underneath the wires to get the floss fully between each tooth, all the way to the gum line. Traditional picks and woven floss will get stuck on the hardware, preventing a proper clean. It’s also important to remove any rubber bands or other safely removable obstructions. This allows the wearer to clean as much of the teeth, gums and mouth as is possible.
3. Consider specialized products. Toothbrushes and threaders aren’t the only tools braces wearers can use for a thorough cleaning. Oral irrigation systems, which can be found at many drug stores, use a stream of water to remove hard-to-reach particles the teeth and orthodontic hardware. While this machine doesn’t replace brushing and flossing, it’s a worthy supplemental tool. Another tool to consider is a topical fluoride treatment, such as a rinse. Incorporating products with fluoride is especially important for those with braces. Fluoride can strengthen exposed areas around braces that are prime for bacterial build-up.
Braces certainly make cleaning your teeth a bit harder, but with the right tools and knowledge, you’ll be smiling bright in no time! Regular dental checkups and cleanings can also help mitigate more serious cleaning-related problems by reducing plaque and bacteria buildup. For the latest and best information about your specific needs, schedule an appointment at TenderCare Dental! With have eight locations in the Portland area, the best in dental care is never far away!