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Five top tips for keeping your braces clean

child eith braces brushing teethFor many patients, brushing and flossing teeth with braces is challenging at the start. Braces make it hard for the toothbrush bristles to get close to the tooth surfaces.

However, keeping your teeth and braces clean is extremely important. Braces can trap food and bacteria, leading to plaque build-up and infection if not properly cleaned.

So how do you clean your teeth properly with braces? Here are our top tips:

1.  Modify your brushing technique

We recommend adapting your brushing technique with braces. This means brushing teeth from three different angles:

  1. Start by brushing at the gum line of your teeth: roll the bristles in from the gum side with a 45-degree angle downwards to clean the gums and tooth surface next to it.
  2.  Next, hold your brush perpendicular to the tooth to clean the braces.
  3.  Lastly, roll the bristles in from the chewing surfaces with a 45-degree angle upwards to clean the teeth below the braces.

We recommend brushing your teeth after every meal when you have braces. It’s a good idea to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste to take out with you.

2. Use the right toothbrush

In addition to your regular toothbrush, we recommend using an interdental brush to clean under the wire and in between the braces. They have small soft-bristled heads designed to clean between your teeth. They are not expensive and can be purchased from orthodontists and pharmacies.

3. Flossing with braces

It might seem that flossing is too difficult or even impossible when you have braces. However, flossing is still an essential part of your dental care during this time.

It is best to use a floss threader when flossing. Floss threaders resemble large plastic “needles” and are effective at getting floss between the teeth and under the wire.

4. Avoid certain foods

Your orthodontist will provide you with a list of foods to avoid when you have braces. Foods that are sticky or chewy may get stuck in the braces and can even break the braces off the teeth.

Avoid sugary foods and drinks as they can cause staining and decay around the brackets.

5.  Maintain regular visits to the dentist

In addition to your visits to your orthodontist during treatment, it’s also essential to maintain regular check-ups with your dentist. Your braces make you more prone to plaque and tartar accumulation. Your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth, gums, and braces as well as check for general dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Book an assessment at Wavescape Orthodontics today. Wavescape is a specialist orthodontics practice in Dee Why on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We offer a comprehensive range of orthodontic services to children, teenagers, and adults.

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