Braces are a big first step in your orthodontic journey. And for many patients, keeping their teeth clean is one of the first problems they face once their treatment is on. Flossing between wires and brushes over brackets can be tricky. Luckily, Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics is here to help keep your smile bright during your treatment, so when your braces come off, your smile will really shine. Here are a couple of tips from our team for brushing your teeth with your braces on.
Find The Right Toothpaste
Your teeth need the right ingredients to stay in pristine shape, and not every toothpaste brand is up to the task. Choosing the right toothpaste can depend on your specific needs, and our doctors can give you recommendations that will work well for your unique smile.
The one common part of a quality toothpaste is the ingredient fluoride. Fluoride is a common natural mineral that fights cavities and protects your tooth’s outer layer of enamel. The American Dental Association recommends toothpaste with fluoride to combat and neutralize bacteria. In fact, studies from the ADA show that an approved dose of fluoride is crucial for dental health.
Just like with any other product you purchase, toothpaste with the approved amount of fluoride comes in many different strengths and flavors for a variety of different kinds of patients. There are even fun ADA and kid-approved options like “Wild Strawberry” and “Blue Raspberry” from Hello Kids, and Tom’s of Maine Natural Fluoride Toothpaste for children in “Outrageous Orange Mango.” No matter your age, there is optimal toothpaste for every patient.
Brackets and wires can create small gaps where food and debris can get easily lodged in those empty spaces. Usually, the particles stuck here are large enough to be noticeable and easily dislodged with a bit of rinsing. If you can’t brush immediately after a meal, be sure to rinse your mouth as thoroughly and often as possible. To remove any loose food bits that may have gathered underneath and around the brackets, gargle warm water and spit it into the sink before brushing. You may need to do this a couple of times to get out the hard-to-reach debris. Rinse until the water you spit is clear. Once there are no longer pieces of grime, you can start brushing your teeth.
Floss Twice a Day, Everyday
Flossing is the most overlooked part of the oral hygiene routine, despite being one of the most practical parts. This is especially true when you have braces’ hardware making the task a bit more complicated. This step is important as debris, plaque, and bacteria can become lodged between teeth and brackets and lead to tooth decay or gum disease, like gingivitis. Tools like floss threaders and Waterpiks are helpful if you’re having trouble with getting a thorough floss underneath the wires. Your orthodontist will likely provide you with these tools, like an interdental proxy brush, to help make this process easier.
Don’t Forget To Brush Your Gums
Once your braces are applied, there may be a brief experience of minor gum sensitivity or inflammation, but this will go away quickly. While this happens, make sure you are brushing not just the brackets and wires on the front faces of your teeth but also give your gums a thorough cleaning too to get the plaque and debris that builds up there as well. On top of that, brushing below your teeth provides a little massage for sore gums and can even stimulate blood flow to the area to help them heal quicker.
Clean Your Brackets and Wires
It can be daunting trying to figure out how to thoroughly clean your teeth with a lot of metalwork in the way. On the whole, it’s the same process as brushing your teeth without braces. But once your brackets are on, you will need to adjust your brush placement to get a good angle to reach everything. Brushing down from the top of the bracket, up from the bottom, and in a circular motion around them will help get to those hard-to-reach places.
Search for clean, shiny braces with the edge of the brackets clearly visible. Fuzzy or dull metal indicates poor brushing. Don’t apply too much pressure to damage the wires or brackets themselves. If you are using an electric toothbrush, dial back the intensity or even opt for a standard brush as you get to the pressure needed to clean your teeth with braces properly.
When In Doubt, Rinse Again
Nothing gets into the hard-to-reach places better than fluoride liquid. After you have brushed and flossed your teeth, it’s good to rinse your mouth out again with warm water to get any loose particles knocked free during the process. Rinsing with a good mouthwash can provide a long-lasting defense against plaque and bad breath.
Take Your Time
At Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics, we know that braces take time and effort. Oral health takes a lot of care and attention without braces, and the added complications of brackets and wires being in the way can make you want to rush and skip necessary steps. But, it is essential to take your time when brushing with braces to ensure the best results in the long run.
Trust your teeth to the experts at Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics
As you begin your braces journey, you need the right team of experts to guide you along every step of the way. And that’s where we can help you. Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics is the perfect place for modern orthodontic treatment, with up-to-date technology in a warm, professional environment. Our offices are conveniently located to serve the greater Western Oklahoma area better. With offices in Edmond, Oklahoma City, Clinton, and Deer Creek, this means excellent orthodontic care is only a few minutes from your home, school, or work. There’s never been a better time to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted, so get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with our expert orthodontic team!