Many of us have had braces and know how difficult it can be to keep them clean. Especially when eating foods like bread, corn on the cob, foods with seeds and so much more. Here are some helpful ways to continue good oral hygiene while having braces.
- Brushing: You will want to brush after every meal and before bedtime for at least 2 minutes. It is best to use an electric toothbrush. You may need to replace your toothbrush more often than normal due to the extra wear your braces will place on the bristles. It is a good idea to use a fluoride toothpaste to help prevent decay.
- Flossing: Don’t forget to floss the areas your toothbrush cannot reach. With braces, it can be much harder to floss those areas that are already hard to reach. Make sure when you are done flossing between your teeth above your braces, that you also floss between your teeth below your braces. You can use a floss threader or interdental brush for these areas if needed. It is a bit more time consuming to floss with braces but flossing is an important factor to keeping up good oral hygiene.
- Most importantly check your smile when you’re done brushing and flossing to make sure there is nothing still caught in between your teeth or in your braces.
These tips to keep good oral hygiene are especially important while wearing braces to ensure healthy gums. If your gums bleed frequently or become swollen due to the amount of plaque on your teeth, the orthodontist may have you see your general dentist to care for your gums. This can cause your orthodontic treatment to be delayed until your gums are at a healthy state. When it is time for your braces to be taken off, and oral hygiene has not been kept up, you may notice staining on your teeth and that your teeth are whiter where your brackets use to be.
It is important to have good oral hygiene while wearing braces to avoid cavities, bleeding and inflamed gums from the amount of plaque build-up, and also to ensure that your teeth are healthy when it is time for the braces to come off!