The Right Way to Clean Teeth with Braces
Did you just get braces? Perhaps you are unsure if you are cleaning them correctly. After all, you seem to be noticing how much more food gets caught in and around your teeth lately! What is the right way to clean teeth with braces? You may also have noticed how much more time it takes to brush and floss. Do not let this inhibit you from keeping a consistent cleaning schedule. You will not regret the extra effort!
Plaque Builds Up Faster
Plaque is that white residue that can feel like our teeth are wearing sweaters. For example, you know you will have plaque if you go to bed without brushing your teeth! When we have proper dental hygiene, as in brushing for 2 minutes twice per day and flossing, plaque build up decreases. If we fail to do this, our chances of getting a cavity or developing gum disease increases because there is more plaque loving bacteria in our mouth. Gross!
When we have braces, there are more surfaces for plaque to adhere to. Therefore, you have all the more reason to stick to a consistent cleaning routine.
Some Helpful Tips
Your won’t have to switch up your cleaning routine too much but you may want to add a few extra tools. Below is a list of items that will help you tremendously!
- Flossers: These are plastic needle looking tools that will help you to floss with braces. Use them in basically the same way you use a needle and thread. OralB explains, “Use waxed floss and thread it carefully under the main wire before passing between two teeth. Don’t snap it—simply move up and down gently, remove, and move on to the next pair of teeth.”
- Electric toothbrush: Regular toothbrushes are perfectly capable of properly cleaning teeth however an electric tooth brush has many “perks” to improve your brushing. Not only do the bristles clean away more plaque because of the faster pace, but many of the new electric toothbrushes have pressure sensors so you do not brush too hard. They also have built in timers ensuring you clean your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes each session! Another plus is they have brush heads specifically designed for cleaning around braces! It is a good idea to replace your toothbrush every 3 months since the brackets cause your toothbrush bristles to wear out faster.
- Proxy brush: These are mini brushes that resemble straw cleaners. Due to their size and bendable build, they are able to clean out remaining food particles and are great to have on hand for after meals!
Schedule Your Dental Visits
Last but not least, it’s important be very consistent with your orthodontist visits. These appointments allow your dentist to make necessary adjustments thus ensuring the proper movement of your teeth. Additionally, don’t forget to make your regular 6 month check-ups. These are especially important when you have braces because of the increased risk of cavities and gum disease. At your visit ask your dentist to explain to you the best way to maintain your dental hygiene throughout the duration of your braces.
Do you have further questions or are you interested in getting braces? Give your North County Dental Specialties a call! (760) 233-5887