As you begin your braces treatment, you will need to make changes to your oral hygiene routine. While the process of brushing and flossing doesn’t change much once you have braces, you will need to allow a little more effort than usual to get a nice, effective clean. Properly brushing around the brackets and wire to get any debris and bacteria while not causing any damage can be a tricky process. Don’t worry. That’s why our well-trained team of doctors at Champlain Orthodontics has seven tips for brushing your teeth with braces to help keep things easy. Keep reading to learn our top 7 tips for brushing your teeth with braces!
#1 Rinse thoroughly
Start by gargling warm water and spit it into the sink before you start brushing to remove any loose food particles that may have gathered underneath and around your brackets. You may need to do this a few times to get most of the debris out of your mouth. Rinse as many times as you need until the water you spit is clear. Once there are no longer pieces of debris, you can start brushing your teeth. It also helps to choose an anti-cavity fluoride mouthwash to help reduce tooth decay and protect enamel.
#2 Brushing the brackets
Cleaning around brackets and wires can be tricky if you don’t prepare in advance. Most of the time, the process is similar to brushing your teeth without braces, back and forth. With brackets on, you will need to adjust your brush placement to get a good angle for effective cleaning. Start by holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush along the gum line. Next, shift the angle of the toothbrush so that you can carefully brush the tops of your brackets.
After that, reposition the toothbrush to angle up so that you can brush under the brackets and wire. Brushing down from the top of the bracket, up from the bottom, and in a circular angle around them will really help in getting those hard-to-reach places. Just be sure not to apply too much pressure that you damage the wires or brackets themselves. If you are using an electric toothbrush, dial back the intensity or even opt for a standard brush as you get to the pressure needed to properly clean your teeth with braces.
#3 Choose the right toothpaste
Patients who are old enough to get braces are typically no longer using the bubblegum flavored toothpaste used by children. If your child is still using this kind of toothpaste when their treatment starts, it might be time to choose an option better suited to their oral health needs. The American Dental Association and the doctors at Champlain Orthodontics recommend toothpaste with fluoride and stronger compounds better able to combat and neutralize bacteria.
#4 Don’t forget your gums
Gums are an easy spot to forget when you’re brushing your teeth because they are less visible. After your braces are on, you may experience some gum sensitivity or inflammation. This is usually brief and will quickly fade away. Make sure you are brushing not just the brackets and wires on the front faces of your teeth, but that you are going all the way to your gums to get the plaque and debris that builds up there out.
#5 Make sure to floss twice a day
Flossing has a lot of oral health benefits. However, it’s also the most overlooked step, especially for those who have the hardware of braces. It’s important that you don’t skip this step because debris, plaque, and bacteria can become lodged between teeth and brackets.
There are disposable flossing sticks that can be used in a pinch to get to hard-to-reach places where debris can be lodged. One of our orthodontists will give you a tool, called an interdental proxy brush, to help make this process easier. Floss the gum line with the floss in the shape of a “C” and below the gum line with a soft up and down motion. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when flossing around the archwire!
#6 Take your time
It can take time and effort to adjust to wearing braces. It’s hard enough to hit the two-minute mark without braces and the added challenge of brackets and wires being in the way can make you want to rush and skip important steps. It is more important than ever to take your time when brushing during braces treatment to ensure the best results by the end of your treatment. Most electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer that can keep you accountable while giving you an extra hand at the actual cleaning.
#7 Rinse again
Once you’re done brushing and flossing your teeth, rinse your mouth out again with warm water to wash out any of the excess loose particles knocked free during the process. This gives your mouth an extra cleansing boost and makes sure that no leftover debris gets lodged back in your braces. Of course, it helps to use that anticavity fluoride mouthwash!
Your smile is safe at Champlain Orthodontics
Starting your braces treatment, and all the adjustments that it comes with, can be tough. That’s why we’re here to make your orthodontic journey as smooth as possible and give you our 7 best tips for brushing your teeth with braces. Our offices in the Williston and St. Albans areas is here to offer you a personalized treatment plan with exceptional results. Whether you’re beginning your orthodontic treatment or well on your way to a better smile, we want to help you every step of the way.
Whether you are considering braces or already have an appointment, we’re here for you! Get in touch to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Ryan or Dr. Eaton or talk through your concerns with us! Your satisfaction is as important to us as your smile.