Tips For Brushing Your Teeth With Braces
There are a few different things you can do to ensure you can get your teeth as clean as possible even with those pesky wires and brackets getting in your way. Here are some tips from our Thornhill orthodontists:
The 45-Degree Rule
When brushing your braces, remember to follow the 45-degree rule. Brush the bottom teeth slightly upwards to get under the groove of the bracket, and the top teeth slightly downwards to go under the groove of the bracket as well. Food will become caught on the sides of your braces and in between your cheek and teeth the majority of the time. Develop the practice of cleaning your teeth after meals with a toothpick or floss. This should make brushing less difficult.
Treat the Brackets Like Part of the Tooth
Never let plaque build up in the areas surrounding your brackets because this can lead to tooth decay and discolouration of your teeth.
Your brackets and wires will actually create space for bacteria to get trapped in and grow. The best way to prevent this, and the corresponding dental issues that come with it, include a daily brushing after each meal in your eating schedule.
Despite what many people might think, it is not impossible to floss while wearing braces. You'll need to use dental floss with firm points or flossing lassos to reach under the wire. You may also require a toothbrush with stiffer bristles in order to avoid the bristles becoming trapped in or damaged by your brackets.
Make Healthy Choices
It all starts with making better food choices in order to avoid plaque buildup in the mouth. When you wear braces, you don't have to substantially alter your diet, but we recommend avoiding items that make it more difficult to keep your teeth clean. Corn kernels, licorice, gummy candy, jerky, and taffy, to name a few things, will become trapped in your braces more easily than other meals.
When you avoid the foods on this list, you may actually find that your daily brushing routine becomes easier. To find out which meals you should avoid, talk to your orthodontist about what you should and shouldn't eat.
Don't Rush It
We highly recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes each time. If you struggle to reach all the areas of your mouth because of the wires and brackets, you can try using a proxabrush. Because of its small size and flexibility, it may be used to clean under and around braces and other orthodontic appliances.
Start by Rinsing Your Mouth
To begin, remove any elastics, bands, or removable orthodontic parts from your mouth and store them in a secure location away from your mouth. After that, take a cup and fill it halfway with water before rinsing your mouth out with the water. Food particles and other things can be freed by swishing a small amount of water around the inside of your mouth.