Are you looking for a way to maintain good oral hygiene with braces? You’re not alone. Many suffer from poor oral hygiene when wearing braces, leading to various dental complications. But need not worry, this article will provide helpful tips and tricks on how to practice good oral hygiene with braces!
Clean Your Teeth Regularly
Keeping your teeth clean is especially important when you have braces. You need to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing for two minutes each time helps to remove bacteria and food particles from your mouth. Use fluoride toothpaste approved by dental experts. If plaque is not removed from teeth and braces daily, it can lead to cavities, tartar buildup, gum disease, bad breath, and permanent discoloration of the teeth.
In addition to brushing your teeth with a toothbrush, you can also use interdental cleaners like floss threaders and water flossers to remove debris between brackets and wires.
Regular dental care is important when wearing braces; visit your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. Your orthodontist may also suggest a special cleaning tool such as an interproximal cleaner that fits between your teeth or the Ortho Flosser that looks like an oversized dental floss pick to easily reach around brackets and wires in difficult areas of the mouth.
Flossing is very important when you have braces. It helps to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth and under the wires so that tooth decay and other oral health issues can be avoided.
If you’re wearing traditional braces, you will need to use a threader or loop of floss that is specially designed for use with braces. To floss, use a clean section of the dental floss over each wire and under the gums to ensure all surfaces are properly cleaned.
For lingual braces and Invisalign aligners that are placed on the inside of your teeth, regular hands floss can be used in an up-and-down motion along each side of each tooth from top to bottom. Additionally, interdental brushes like Stim-U-Dents can be effectively used for cleaning hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth. Make sure that you clean all areas around each tooth where a food particle might become lodged.
Brush for at Least Two Minutes
Brushing is an essential part of good oral hygiene, especially for people with braces. It should be carried out at least twice a day for two minutes each time, as recommended by dental experts. All parts of the mouth should be brushed, including the tongue and cheeks, but the main focus should be on the teeth, gums, and around the brackets and wires.
A toothbrush with soft bristles will help to protect against enamel erosion or gum recession; however, it can also be helpful to use a disposable interdental brush if one is available. Such brushes are designed to reach into tight spaces around brackets and wires with greater ease. The head of the brush should also be aptly sized to fit comfortably into your mouth without obstructing your breath.
Use Special Tools to Reach Hard-to-clean Areas
In addition to proper brushing and flossing, another way to practice good oral hygiene with braces is to use highly specialized tools designed specifically for cleaning hard-to-reach areas around braces. You may have already been given or bought some orthodontic tools, such as a floss threader or a proxy brush.
A floss threader is used simply by threading a piece of dental floss through the spaces between the wire and brackets and can easily be used while brushing your teeth. Proxy brushes consist of a bundle of toothbrush-like bristles that, when inserted in between your brackets and wires, can effectively clean away food particles and plaque.
The interdental brush is an option if your orthodontist has not recommended one for you; this tool looks like a pipe cleaner with longer bristles that reach around the wire on either side of the bracket making it easier to clean areas otherwise difficult to reach.
An oral irrigator can also be used; this tool sprays dental water onto your teeth, helping to decrease plaque from hard-to-clean areas. Lastly, there are specially designed handheld toothbrushes that are made with soft angles and bend in order to fit comfortably against one’s braces when brushing. All these special tools help ensure that food particles and plaque buildup do not accumulate on your teeth or gums when you wear braces.
Visit a Dentist or Orthodontist Regularly
Regular visits to the dentist and orthodontist are important for maintaining good oral hygiene during braces treatment. Dentists or orthodontists can work closely with you to provide treatments such as fluoride treatments and periodic professional cleanings and cavity-preventing sealants. Typically, your teeth and gums should be checked every six months or at least once a year, although your specific treatment agreement may vary based on the type of braces you are wearing.
During your regular checkups, it’s important to discuss any issues that you’re having with your braces, such as loose bands or wires, gum inflammation, or irritations in the mouth due to brackets. Your dentist or orthodontist will also be able to make sure that your braces are properly aligned and that any wires that need adjusting have been done so correctly.
It is also important to have regular X-rays taken of your teeth during braces treatment in order to check for progress being made on straightening the teeth and evaluate if there are any underlying dental problems developing (such as cavities).
Avoid Eating Sticky/hard Foods
It is important to avoid eating certain kinds of food while wearing braces as they can damage your teeth, wires, and brackets. It is recommended that you avoid sticky, hard, or crunchy foods such as popcorn, caramel, fudge, taffy, hard candies, or toffee.
Eating these types of food can cause the brackets and wires on your braces to become dislodged and can leave you with sharp edges that can cause irritation in your mouth. Take extra care when biting into apples or other crunchy fruits/vegetables. It’s better to cut them into smaller pieces as a precaution against damaging your braces.
Change Braces’ Wires and Elastics Per Instructions
Maintaining good oral hygiene with braces is essential to ensuring a successful and comfortable treatment. In order to achieve this, it is important that braces’ wires and elastics are changed when required.
Braces wires and elastics play a vital role in achieving and maintaining the desired changes in the position of teeth. Brace elastics are used to help push teeth together toward the correct position faster. Wires, on the other hand, use pressure over time so that once the teeth have been moved into the desired position they can stay there.
The force applied by these components decreases over time as they stretch and stretch out due to wear and tear caused by everyday movements such as opening your mouth wide or knitting your teeth together while chewing. When braces wires and elastics lose their tension, they cannot produce enough force needed to make any real improvements in your smile.
Your orthodontist will ask you to come into their office every few weeks so that these components can be replaced with new ones – ensuring that your treatment remains effective and efficient throughout its entirety. You may also be asked to change them yourself at certain points if instructed accordingly. It is therefore important for you to know how long different types of brackets’ wires should last so that you change them on time before they max out their efficiency level.
Wear Mouthguards When Participating in Sports
It is important for individuals who have braces to wear a mouthguard when engaging in any physical activities such as sports or contact martial arts. This will prevent any damage from contact with elbows, arms, fists, or other hard objects that could harm the mouth and teeth.
When playing sports with braces, it is beneficial to use a custom-fitted mouth guard that is specifically designed to provide the most comfortable fit and protection. These types of mouthguards include features such as:
- Air cushions that provide extra cushioning and comfort.
- Ample vent holes for enhanced flow of air.
This ensures that breathing remains easy while also providing maximum protection against shock and trauma associated with contact sports. Care should be taken to ensure these mouthguards are worn at all times while playing as they can provide an added layer of protection against dental emergencies during these active activities.
Rinse With an Antiseptic Mouthwash After Meals
It is especially important to practice good oral hygiene when wearing braces, as bacteria and food particles can build up along the wires and brackets.
To help reduce plaque formation, you should water rinse your mouth after every meal or snack. Gently swish a small amount of antiseptic mouthwash around for at least 30 seconds to freshen your breath and help kill off any unwanted bacteria that may be present. Make sure not to swallow the mouthwash – you should expel it after swishing it around in your mouth.
After rinsing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush the braces and remove any remaining food particles. Finish off with dental floss to clean around the wires and brackets in those hard-to-reach areas where the toothbrush can’t access.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I brush and floss with braces?
You should brush your teeth with braces at least twice a day, after every meal. You should also floss at least once a day to remove any food particles from between the brackets and wires.
What kind of toothbrush should I use?
You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush when you brush your teeth with braces. This will help keep your gums and teeth healthy while also cleaning around the brackets and wires.
Are there other ways to practice good oral hygiene with braces?
Yes, you can also use an interdental brush to clean around braces. This brush is designed to clean in the narrow spaces between the teeth and around the brackets and wires. In addition, you can use a special orthodontic floss threader to floss your teeth with braces.
Good oral hygiene is an important part of achieving healthy teeth and gums, whether you’re wearing braces or not. With braces, there are additional challenges, but with the tips provided here, you can make sure your mouth stays clean and healthy.
- Brush twice a day for two minutes each time and use floss threaders to help remove trapped food particles.
- Be sure to make regular visits to your orthodontist for checkups so that any potential problems with your braces can be spotted early.
- By taking care of your oral hygiene needs with braces on, you can dramatically reduce any risks of problems in the future.