Braces can be beneficial for those who decide to wear them. These dental appliances can enhance the appearance of teeth by straightening them. They can also correct jaw misalignment so your bite becomes even while beautifying your smile.
However, wearing braces comes with the need to be more attentive to your dental hygiene. With them on, there are more nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide and accumulate. If you don’t treat them on time, this can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Here is how to take care of your teeth while wearing braces:
Rinsing your mouth with water helps to get rid of any loose food particles. Swish some around your mouth a couple of times before spitting. Repeat if necessary.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene. However, if you’re an adult who plans to have braces or want your kid to wear one, know that it’s necessary to brush your teeth after every time you eat something. It’s easy for food debris to get trapped in your braces, which can increase the risk of you developing dental issues.
Brushing With Braces
Whether you have coloured or clear braces, the appliance is prone to wear and tear. You need to be more careful while brushing. A regular toothbrush with soft bristles is a good choice. Another excellent alternative is an electric toothbrush. Brush your teeth gently. Whichever you pick, be sure to apply the right amount of pressure.
- Start from the outer sides of your bottom teeth.
- Bite your teeth together and brush back and forth across them. Gradually move on the other side of your bottom teeth and make sure to reach back to your molars.
- Repeat the same motions to your top teeth.
- Gently brush in circular motions and angle your toothbrush towards the top of your tooth and your gum line. Slanting it at a 45-degree angle will help dislodge any food particles that are stuck on your brackets.
- Continue brushing with the inner sides and crowns of your teeth. Move up and down and back and forth. Brush in circular motions on the inside of your bottom and top teeth.
- Turn the brush perpendicular to the spaces between your teeth. Brush back and forth and use a circular motion to reach crevices that may also have food debris.
- Carefully brush your gums, cheeks, and tongue.
- Check your teeth and braces for any food or plaque you may have missed.
Brushing your teeth isn’t enough to remove all of the food debris. Whether you’re wearing ceramic braces or the more traditional metal ones, flossing can get rid of any particles and plaque that are stuck between your teeth. Doing this at least once a day can prevent various oral health problems.
Flossing With Braces
With the wires and brackets on the way, flossing may seem like a difficult task with braces on. Fortunately, you can use different types of tools to make flossing easier with waxed floss, floss threaders, and water flossers.
- Traditional Flossing
It may take you 10 to 15 minutes to floss your teeth since you’re only going to use floss. Use waxed floss, as it’s less likely to become stuck in the metal brackets and tear. Also, do this in front of a mirror to check the thread’s location.
Here is how to floss properly:
- Use an 18- to 24-inch piece of floss and thread it between your teeth and the wire.
- To make handling the floss easier, wrap the ends around your index fingers.
- Press it gently between two teeth and slide it up and down along the sides.
- If you’re flossing the top teeth, go up the side of one tooth to your gum line. Next, go down the side of the other tooth.
- Repeat the process with the next set of teeth.
- Floss Threader
A floss threader is a plastic tool that helps you pull the floss behind the wire of the braces easily. Using this can speed up the entire traditional flossing process and save you several minutes.
Here’s how you can use a floss threader in traditional flossing:
- Use an 18- to 24-inch piece of floss and pull it through the eye of the threader.
- Insert the plastic needle’s point under the wire and carefully pull the floss through it. Hold the threader with one hand and wrap the floss around your index fingers to get more control.
- Press the floss carefully between two teeth, then slide it up and down along the sides. If you’re flossing your top teeth, slide up the side of one tooth to the gum line before going down the side of the other tooth.
- Carefully pull the floss out from between your teeth and pull it out from behind the wire.
- Re-thread the floss threader and repeat the process with the next set of teeth.
- Water Flosser
A water flosser or an oral irrigator is suited for those who prefer to floss quickly. It uses a steady stream of water to clean the gum line and between your teeth. You also only need 3 to 5 minutes with this tool.
Here’s how to use a water flosser:
- Fill water into the machine’s water tank. Insert the tapered tip on the flosser.
- Press to send water through the device and check if the water pressure is right for you.
- Lean over the sink before placing the tip in your mouth. To avoid splashing, close your lips before turning on the water flosser.
- As you floss, let the water drain out of your mouth.
- Glide the water stream between each tooth and along the gumline.
- Repeat the process along the front and back of your teeth.
- Empty the reservoir of water and dry the flosser tip after using. Store the tip in a closed container.
Regular toothbrushes may not be as useful for cleaning teeth with wide gaps. Fortunately, you can use interdental brushes to brush away plaque and bacteria. These can also clean the hard-to-reach areas of your metal braces.
Here is how you can use an interdental brush:
- Use a mirror to guide you as you brush.
- Picking the right size, carefully insert the interdental brush and move it back and forth in every space.
- You can change to another size to clean underneath and around the wires of your brace.
- Bend it to brush between the wires and your teeth.
- Replace it once its bristles become worn.
The food particles that get stuck on your teeth and braces can encourage plaque to build up and affect how your breath smells. Mouthwash can help keep your teeth clean and your breath smelling fresh.
Here is how to use mouthwash:
- Pour 20 ml of mouthwash into a cup.
- Avoid diluting it with water and empty the cup into your mouth.
- Rinse around your mouth and gargle for 30 seconds.
- Spit it out in the sink.
Maintaining good dental hygiene as you wear braces is necessary. Not only can you avoid dental complications in the long run, but you also be rewarded with healthy-looking teeth once it’s time to start wearing a permanent retainer. Following these methods can thoroughly clean your teeth and make the cost of wearing braces worth it.
Let us help you brighten your smile. Here at Cosmo Dental Centre, our team offers excellent dental cleaning services that can help keep your teeth healthy. For inquiries, you can call us at (519) 659-2767 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.