Brushing with braces

Whether or not you have braces, good oral hygiene is incredibly important.

And let’s be honest here, what’s the use of beautifully straight teeth if they are riddled with decay?

When you have braces, there are a few tips and tricks to follow that will ensure that you are getting a good clean.

Brushing technique

When you have braces, food particles will easily become lodged under your braces, so it is important to brush thoroughly. When you are brushing your teeth, move the toothbrush in small circular motions to help remove any food particles that may be under your gum line. An electric toothbrush may help with this. Hold the toothbrush at a slight angle and carefully brush over the surface of each tooth and between the braces. When you have braces, you should be brushing your teeth more often – aim for about 4 times a day: in the morning, either after lunch or after school, after dinner and before going to bed. The bristles of your toothbrush will wear down more than before you had braces, so you should replace your toothbrush more frequently.

You should also get an interdental brush. These are a special type of toothbrush designed to reach between small spaces. This type of toothbrush will help you brush between your braces. Follow your regular toothbrushing with your interdental brush.

Flossing technique

When you wear braces, flossing is essential to make sure you remove the plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. Your interdental brush can reach between your braces, but not between your teeth! Your orthodontist will be able to advise on the best type of dental floss to use – there is special dental floss on the market made particularly for those with braces, though your orthodontist may suggest something else. For example, your orthodontist may recommend you use a water pick instead of thread floss. Flossing should be done at least once each day. When you first begin flossing, the gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not stop after the first couple of times you floss, inform the orthodontist during your next visit.

Rinsing with a mouthwash that contains fluoride may help to strengthen the enamel on your teeth and prevent tooth decay. Speak with your orthodontist about the best type of mouthwash to use. A prescription strength fluoride toothpaste may be prescribed by your orthodontist as well.

Following these tips when brushing with braces will ensure that your teeth will be sufficiently clean and cared for.