Maintaining good oral health and hygiene is incredibly important to overall health and wellness, and that doesn’t change if you need braces. Taking care of your teeth while you have braces can be difficult, but brushing and flossing are essential to keeping your teeth, brackets, and wires clean and healthy. Good dental hygiene habits can help speed the timeline of your braces, potentially resulting in shorter wear time, as well as help keep your teeth white for when your braces are removed.
Have the Right Equipment
Without braces, a toothbrush and floss are about all you need; however, braces make things a little more complicated. If you’ve recently gotten braces, you’ll need an interdental brush. Interdental brushes work to clean between and around your wires and brackets to clean any excessive debris before you brush and floss. Next, a four-tuft interproximal brush is handy when cleaning gaps or spaces between teeth. It’s also useful for cleaning around fixed retainers. When it comes to flossing, a floss threader is essential to threading your floss through your wires and between teeth. Finally, a simple soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing your teeth and braces.
Clean Between Brackets and Wires
The first step in your dental hygiene routine should be using your interdental brush to clear away any large pieces of gunk. Clearing away any excess food or bacteria particles allows your toothbrush and floss to work as effectively as possible. Move your interdental brush in and around wires between brackets and around the brackets themselves. Start at one side of your mouth and work your way around, using a mirror to check and make sure you haven’t missed anything in your back teeth.
Floss Once a Day
Although flossing might seem arbitrary and unimportant, maintaining a consistent flossing schedule is essential to the health of your smile. Gently use your floss threader to thread the floss through your braces’ wires and carefully floss up to your gum. Be gentle — you don’t want to cause any bleeding. Start from one side of your mouth and work your way around, making sure not to miss any spaces between teeth. You only need to floss once a day, usually before bed is a great time.
Brush Twice a Day
Twice a day, you should be brushing your teeth. Soft toothbrushes are the best option, as hard bristles can harm brackets or wires. Avoid brushing harder due to your braces, and focus on working angles to reach under wires and around brackets. Like flossing and cleaning between spaces, you should start on one side if your mouth and systematically work your way around to avoid missing any spots.
Orthodontic Treatment With Cornerstone Family Dentistry
If you think it’s time for you or someone in your family to get braces, visit Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Nashville, TN. Our bilingual staff is highly trained to treat anyone, no matter age or background. If you have questions about our services or appointments, contact us today to learn more.