When you have braces, it often becomes much more complicated to clean your teeth. However, it is important to still put the extra effort into keeping your teeth clean and healthy throughout the duration of your orthodontic treatment. Braces are often a process that require around 2 years. 2 years of insufficient oral health care can cause a substantial amount of damage to your teeth. It is important to understand the best methods for cleaning teeth with braces in order to prevent substantial issues with your oral hygiene.
Cleaning Teeth with Braces
It is easy for food particles and plaque to become stuck in the wires and brackets of your braces. Cleaning teeth with braces often requires a bit more work than generally cleaning your teeth. Be prepared to spend extra time on your oral hygiene routine in order to thoroughly remove food particles and protect the health of your smile.
Brush After Eating
You often need to brush more than twice a day when you have braces. Most experts recommend that you brush after eating to thoroughly remove food particles. The longer food particles remain on the surface of the teeth, the more damage they are likely to cause. When you make a habit of brushing after eating, you will be able to thoroughly remove food particles and prevent damage to your teeth.
While it is certainly important to brush your teeth enough, it is also important to ensure that you are brushing them correctly. Use small, gentle circular motions when cleaning teeth with braces. This will help to prevent damage to the appliance while simultaneously removing food particles and plaque from your teeth. Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle in order to reach the spaces of the teeth that aren’t covered by the braces. Brushing your teeth correctly will help to keep them clean and clear of harmful particles.
It can be tempting to skip flossing when you have braces. After all, how could you possibly floss between your teeth when you have braces on? It is important to carefully thread the strand of floss through the braces before using it to remove food particles from the spaces between the teeth. While it may take longer to floss with braces, it is still incredibly important to ensure that you do so.
There are many options for flossing that can be particularly useful for individuals with braces. If you are using traditional floss, it will be important to use a long strand of floss. The floss usually has to be around 18 inches in order to sufficiently floss between the teeth. A floss threader is a tool that is often used to reach the spaces beneath the braces. This tool essentially implements small pieces of floss on a small base that enables you to nimbly reach beneath the braces. You may also want to use a water flosser in order to effectively remove food particles from the teeth. A water flosser implements a stream of water to help wash out extra food particles and prevent these particles from causing damage to the teeth.
Visit Us Regularly
It is crucial to visit our office on a regular basis when you have braces. With your regular orthodontic visits, we will be able to identify any problems early on. This will also allow us to identify how effective your oral hygiene routine is for cleaning beneath the braces. We can provide you with excellent guidance regarding the best strategies for cleaning teeth with braces.
Remember to Have Regular Dental Visits
While you have to visit our office for orthodontic visits, it is still incredibly important to visit your dentist regularly. Orthodontic visits are not interchangeable for dental visits. Your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth and ensure that they remain clean, despite the presence of your braces.
Inspect for Signs of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is incredibly common when you are implementing inadequate oral hygiene. When you notice signs of gingivitis, it is highly likely that you will need to improve your oral hygiene routine. Gingivitis often manifests as red, inflamed gums. They may also bleed whenever you floss. If you notice the signs of gingivitis, you may want to visit your dentist for additional guidance to improve your oral hygiene routine.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
Your prior toothbrush might simply not be up to the task of cleaning teeth with braces. Investing in an electronic toothbrush can go a long way toward more efficiently removing food particles from the surface of the teeth. You can also use a manual toothbrush that has soft bristles and a small head that is capable of reaching spaces between the braces. Certain toothbrushes may have specific heads that are designed primarily for orthodontic purposes.
Gargle with Salt Water
Gargling with salt water can be incredibly useful when you have braces. While this may not need to be a daily addition to your oral hygiene routine, there are certain situations in which it can be particularly beneficial. For example, gargling with salt water immediately after having braces added or following adjustments can help to reduce inflammation and remove bacteria from the mouth. This also is beneficial as it can help to flush out food particles that may become stuck between teeth.
Avoid Sticky Foods
Most individuals need to avoid sticky foods when they have braces. When foods are particularly sticky, they will be more difficult to efficiently remove from the braces and surrounding teeth.
Invisalign is a great option for teeth straightening that provides many additional benefits. For example, the clear aligners are removable, which makes cleaning the teeth a much easier process. It can also be removed when you eat, which eliminates the necessity of avoiding sticky foods.
Our experts at Bailey Orthodontics are dedicated to providing you with the services that you need to improve your oral health while simultaneously straightening your teeth. These tips can help to ensure that your teeth remain clean throughout the duration of your orthodontic treatment. To learn more about how to clean teeth with braces, contact us at Bailey Orthodontics today!