If you’ve had braces, you know how tough it is to maintain your oral health while your teeth are being straightened. Braces are great at giving you or your child the perfect smile, but it can be difficult to keep your teeth clean with braces at all times. The brackets, wires and bands are food and sugar traps, and there’s no quick way to keep your mouth clean during your treatment.
In fact, keeping your teeth clean with braces is going to take a bit more effort. But it’s important that you or your child puts in this little bit of extra time. The extra time will help to prevent cavities, gum disease and gingivitis and will also make sure you don’t show up to a meeting or school with food stuck in your teeth!
Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Clean With Braces
So here are some of our best tips for keeping your teeth clean with braces.
Brush Your Teeth
Keep up with your minimum daily brushing habits: twice a day for two minutes apiece. You might want to add an extra minute to make sure you (carefully) work your bristles in between each bracket and under the wires.
Try to keep up with flossing. For kids, this is a much harder task, since you’ll likely need to use a floss threader, which can be tricky for younger patients. It will be slow going at first, but you will get faster with practice.
Focus on the Gumline
Patients with braces often experience mild forms of gingivitis or gum puffiness. This is because it is difficult to get the teeth clean near the gumline with brackets and wires in the way. After you brush, try running your toothbrush bristles under warm water to soften them a bit. Then use your toothbrush to gently massage at the gumline. A baby toothbrush is also a great tool for this trick!
Brush Teeth After Eating
Brushing at school or work with braces isn’t always possible or convenient, though we recommend keeping a toothbrush in your desk, locker, briefcase or bookbag for at least a quick brush after lunch or snacks. If you absolutely can’t brush after a meal, at least rinse with water to dislodge any stuck food. You could also carry a travel size mouthwash to keep your breath fresh.
Use a Special Cleaning Brush
Many orthodontists provide their patients with a “tree brush” to get in between brackets and underneath wires. These small Christmas-tree shaped brushes are a great tool to add to your oral hygiene routine with braces.
Visit Your Dentist
Continue to see your dentist twice a year for teeth cleaning exams to help keep your teeth clean while wearing braces. Your hygienist will make sure your teeth and braces are as clean as possible before you leave and your dentist will make sure you’re staying in good oral health throughout the length of your orthodontic treatment
Keeping your teeth sparkling clean with braces isn’t as easy as keeping them clean without, but it is possible to maintain great oral health with braces. It will just take a little more time and effort, and remember, it’s only temporary!
Remember: The above information is to be used as general guidelines and should not be substituted for medical advice. Contact our skilled dentists for a dental exam or professional medical advice.
Teeth Cleaning Exams in Columbus Ohio
We offer professional teeth cleaning exams to patients with and without braces in Central Ohio. Contact us today to learn more about teeth cleaning exams with braces!