Now that you have to wear braces for some time, it is worth taking the time and energy to give the extra care required to brush and floss your teeth. Your braces will straighten and align your teeth, improving your appearance and oral health, but if you develop decay and gum disease because you did not take proper care, you will not be as happy when you get the braces off as you should be.
Small particles of food as well as coatings of sugar and acid can be stuck in the tiny spaces created by braces. If it is not removed on a regular basis, it will create cavities, stains and gum disease. There are a few techniques like brushing and flossing that will help you keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy.
If you use a regular toothbrush, it is recommended to use a soft, interdental brush that has an angled head that will fit around your braces. Otherwise, you can use an electric or sonic toothbrush that is designed to clean around the braces. A regular electric or sonic toothbrush may be difficult to use.
When you brush, you should angle the toothbrush over and under the braces to push the bristles gently against the brackets for maximum cleaning. You need to brush all sides of every tooth, including the front, back and top. This may require a small, flexible toothbrush.
After brushing, you should rinse your mouth with water to remove any loose food particles. After the water, it may be good to rinse with mouthwash to remove any sugar or acid that remains in the tiny spaces.
Flossing may take more time if you have braces, but it is very important. Our specialist may suggest some devices that make flossing with braces easier and faster, such as a floss threader. The floss needs to press against your gums, which means you may have to thread it between your teeth over the braces. This is time consuming, but essential for avoiding gum disease.
After performing all of the necessary steps to keeping your mouth and teeth clean, you should rinse your toothbrush in hot water. This will remove any food particles left in the brush that could introduce bacteria into your mouth the next time you brush. To achieve this, some people soak their toothbrush in peroxide to kill the germs. It is also recommended to change your toothbrush at least every three months. Since the brush is rubbing against braces, it may wear out sooner than it normally would.
You may want to have a soft drink or snack at a time when you cannot brush your teeth. When this happens, the best thing to do is thoroughly rinse your mouth with water and check to see of any obvious food particles remain. If possible, it would also be good to rinse with mouthwash. As soon as you get home, you can brush.
It may take more time brushing and flossing your teeth when you have braces, but it is worth it. During an appointment at Pack Orthodontics in Murfreesboro or Shelbyville, our team can give you all of the information you need to ensure that you are caring for your braces properly. Contact us today to schedule your orthodontic appointment.