As anyone who has had the unique experience of wearing braces knows, keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces can be a challenge. One of the biggest embarrassments a person who wears braces can have is when a colleague or a friend informs them that they have a little piece of leftover lunch stuck in their braces.
When you are wearing braces, you need to put forth extra effort not only to keep your teeth clean, but also to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. Part of the care comes from watching what you eat. You have to avoid sticky foods, crunchy foods and foods that are high in sugar.
You also must be meticulous when it comes to brushing with braces. An individual without braces is encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day. That’s what your dentist tells you. However, since you are wearing braces, you need to brush your teeth every time you eat something. This means that you have to brush your teeth after breakfast, lunch, dinner and after having that mid-afternoon snack or sneaking out to the vending machine to purchase something. This is because food particles will find their way into your braces. The longer the food sits there, the higher the chance of decay beginning. Most orthodontists recommend that patients use a brush with soft bristles.
The first step in brushing your teeth with braces is to rinse out your mouth. As we said, there’s going to be a bunch of food that’s stuck in hidden crevices on your braces. Once you get the food out, start brushing your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gum. Make sure to get below the bracket line and above the bracket line. Then focus your attention on brushing the brackets themselves. Use a downward angle for the top of the brackets and an upward angle for the bottom of the brackets. Rinse your mouth out again thoroughly to remove any food that you dislodged during the brushing process.
Brushing is just the start of the battle. Now comes flossing. Thankfully, you do not need to floss after every meal. But you do need to floss at least once a day. Your flossing should include between your teeth and underneath the wires. Talk to our orthodontist about a specialized mechanism that will make flossing a lot easier.
After you have finished flossing, use a mouthwash designed to kill bacteria. This will help reach any spaces brushing and flossing did not reach.
What if you give into the temptation to eat your favorite snack when you do not have a toothbrush available? Then you will need to improvise. Find water and vigorously rinse out your mouth. If you have mouthwash, that’s even better. As soon as you get the chance, brush your teeth.
Wearing braces can be a challenge, but it is a temporary one. Get the best results from your orthodontic treatment by caring for your teeth properly while you wear braces. Brushing with braces may require a little extra work, but the end result is always worth it.
Located in Oak Lawn, Petty & Bielik Orthodontics is committed to helping patients achieve their dream smile. Practicing the proper brushing habits while wearing your braces is crucial to achieving the desired look. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more about caring for your braces.