How do you keep your teeth clean when you have braces?
People wearing braces may face a lot of trouble with their oral hygiene. A few ways that you may try to easily keep your teeth clean with braces are below.
Dental braces are devices used in orthodontics that help bring beautiful, even teeth to those who are experiencing malocclusion of the teeth. However, it is not generally known that the components used in this treatment such as archwire or metal brackets can unintentionally cause difficulty in maintaining good oral hygiene. At the same time, this provides chances for food debris as well as bacteria to stay on the teeth and form dental plaque. Hence, a series of oral health problems are likely to arise such as bad breath, gingivitis or periodontitis and tooth decay which are even worse.
Therefore, knowing how to keep your teeth clean with braces is an essential thing to get a confident, radiant smile with strong and even teeth.
Easy and efficient tips on caring for your teeth with braces
Beside commonly recommended braces care such as using a toothpaste that contains fluoride, rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash, or using a water flosser to remove any food debris that is hard to reach, you also need to pay special attention to the following issues when practicing oral hygiene with braces.
Select the right toothbrush
It is often recommended by dentists that people with braces should use a small and soft-bristled toothbrush. This can make it easier to get the teeth clean without concerning yourself about any gum damage. In some cases, you may be provided with a specialized brush for braces by your dentist.
Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush once every three months.
How to brush your teeth with braces
Brushing with braces is similar to regular teeth brushing. However, the presence of the braces could make the cleaning process more difficult, so you have to keep in mind a few things as below:
Rinse your mouth with clean water before brushing to aid in the removal of any food debris that collects between your teeth or underneath the wires of your braces.
Make sure all the teeth can be reached, especially:
The area right around the gum line
The area above and below the archwire and brackets
Space between teeth and the inner surfaces of the teeth
Gently and carefully brush your teeth to avoid damaging the gums, which can cause bleeding or breaking the brackets
Besides, the normal frequency of daily tooth brushing is twice a day. With braces, however, you will need to increase to five times a day: after waking up, before going to sleep, and after each meal. Especially if you have some snacks, don't forget to brush your teeth after eating also. This can help prevent the risk of tartar (plaque) buildup as much as possible.
With braces, flossing not only helps to gently clean between the teeth but also can remove food debris from the braces.
This method can be performed in steps as follows:
Use a medium-cut floss and insert it underneath the archwire. You can use a floss threader to help yourself out.
Place the floss in between two teeth and gently slide up and down
Small note: Be gentle and avoid rubbing against the gums, which can cause damage or bleeding
Bend the floss into a C shape and cup around the tooth. Gently move the floss to clean the gum line as well as the crown surface and around the metal brackets.
Small note: Carefully and gently floss to avoid breaking the brackets
Foods to avoid when wearing braces
Another thing to know if you want to keep your teeth clean with braces is what you can eat and what you should avoid. In fact, there are plenty of common foods that you can eat with braces, just make sure they are finely chopped and well-cooked so you don’t have to chew or bite too much.
However, you will still need to stay away from some of the following foods that may loosen your braces or break the brackets:
Chewing or bubble gum
Some crunchy fruits such as apples, pears, plums, etc
Crispy bread or hard crackers
Foods that easily stick to teeth (caramel, malt, etc)
What to do if wires or bands on your braces come loose
If the wires or bands on your braces come loose, it can reduce the speed of moving teeth into the desired positions as well as the efficiency. Therefore, if you experience this issue, make an appointment with your orthodontist right away to have the braces checked.
Besides, based on the progression at that time, your dentist can also adjust or tighten your braces more appropriately to prevent further shifting.
As a conclusion, keeping your teeth clean with braces is a significant part in achieving nice and even teeth. It can also help to prevent tooth and gum diseases if any. Besides, be selective of what you eat, visit the dentist without delay if your brackets or wire accidentally breaks.