If you just got braces, in addition to learning how to talk and chew with your new equipment, you may be wondering how to take care of them. Braces put your teeth at greater risk of gathering germs and developing plaque, so it is crucial that you take very good care of your teeth. While it may take a few days to get used to your new routine, we have some tips and strategies to help you practice good dental hygiene while wearing braces.
Because it’s much easier for food to get stuck in between your braces, try giving your mouth a quick rinse with water before you start brushing. This can help loosen up any leftover food particles stuck in and around the braces. After brushing and flossing, rinsing with a mouthwash can also help prevent cavities and rinse away any remaining germs.
With braces you will need to slightly alter the way you brush to ensure you are cleaning your teeth adequately. Begin by brushing at your gum line at a 45-degree angle. Next, clean the part of your teeth that are hidden by the braces by brushing the brackets, first angling down and brushing the top part of your braces and then angling your toothbrush up to clean the bottom of the brackets. Take your time, making sure to brush every tooth from the top of each wire all the way to the bottom near the gum. Because it will be easier to accumulate plaque and food particles while wearing braces, we recommend brushing for two minutes after every meal. We also recommend that you use a prescription-grade toothpaste with a high fluoride content.
Flossing with braces may feel almost impossible, but it is extremely important to floss every single day when you have braces. While it may take some time to get used to, eventually we believe you will be able to floss quickly and easily even with braces. You may find it easier to use a floss threader, which will help you easily thread the floss in between the wires of your braces. Once the floss is under the wires, gently move the floss side to side and up and down into the gum line just like you do without braces. We also recommend using an instrument called a Waterpik which will help with getting food particles from between the teeth and around the brackets.
Your new dental hygiene regimen may feel strange or difficult at first, but after some practice we are positive you will get used to brushing and flossing with braces. And you will be glad you took good care of your teeth, because once you get your braces off not only will you have straighter teeth and a beautiful smile, you will also have a healthy, sparkling mouth!