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5 Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Clean While Wearing Braces

brushing-teeth-with-braces-sq-400Maintaining optimal oral hygiene while wearing traditional metal braces can be challenging, but it’s crucial to ensure clean teeth during the straightening process. Brushing and flossing can initially be difficult due to the obstruction caused by orthodontic appliances. However, it’s vital to keep your teeth and braces clean, as they can trap food and bacteria, leading to plaque accumulation and potential infections if not adequately cleaned.

So how do you maintain oral hygiene with braces? Here are some key tips:

Adapt Your Brushing Technique

It’s advisable to modify your brushing technique. This involves brushing from three different angles:

First, brush at your teeth’s gum line, rolling the bristles in from the gum side at a 45-degree angle downwards to clean both gums and adjacent tooth surfaces.

Second, hold your brush perpendicular to the tooth to clean the appliances.

Finally, roll the bristles in from the chewing surfaces at a 45-degree angle upwards to clean the teeth beneath the braces.

It’s recommended to brush after every meal when you have braces. Carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you for convenience.

Choose the Right Toothbrush

Apart from your regular brush, consider using an interdental brush to clean under the wire and between the appliances. These brushes feature small soft-bristled heads specially designed for cleaning between teeth, and are reasonably priced, available at orthodontists and pharmacies.

Floss Effectively

Flossing may seem daunting or even impossible with braces, but it remains a critical part of your dental maintenance. A floss threader is recommended for flossing; these large plastic “needles” effectively guide floss between teeth and under the wire.

Avoid Specific Foods

Your orthodontist will provide an Orthodontic No-No Food List outlining foods to avoid while wearing braces. Sticky or chewy foods may become lodged in the braces and potentially damage them. Sugary foods and drinks should also be avoided, as they can cause staining and decay around the brackets.

Regular Dental Visits

Besides your scheduled orthodontic appointments, regular check-ups with your dentist are essential. Braces can increase susceptibility to plaque and tartar buildup. Your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth, gums, and braces, and check for general dental issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

For more information, contact Wavescape Orthodontics today!

Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.

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