Caring for your teeth and gums is essential for a healthy, beautiful smile. You want to get rid of the harmful plaque daily that will otherwise damage your teeth and gums. This sticky, colorless film made of bacteria, food, and saliva builds up around the teeth and gum line and quickly hardens. When you are wearing braces, this trapped buildup can lead to swollen gums, cavities, bad breath, and even permanent tooth stains. To prevent this, you will need to brush and floss every day to get rid of plaque before it gets a chance to harden.
Cleaning Teeth in Braces
Cleaning around your braces can be a challenge as their extra parts mean additional areas for food to become trapped, but with the help of the right tools, you can do a great job of preventing this! You will especially want to remove plaque buildup around braces brackets to keep tooth decay and gum inflammation away.
Pay special attention to any cracks and crevices, both between your teeth and around your braces’ brackets and wires. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it as soon as the bristles lose their shape, preferably with fluoride toothpaste to protect tooth enamel. Avoid tooth whitening toothpaste because it can’t whiten behind your braces brackets, so it won’t look uniform when your braces come off.
Brush thoroughly and gently in circular motions so as not to damage your wires or brackets, and clean all surfaces at least twice a day so they are spotless:
- All the parts of your braces
- All tooth surfaces (tops, sides, front and back)
- All around the gums, tongue and roof of your mouth
Next, you will want to floss, preferably before you go to bed so you can take your time. A floss threader is a reusable tool that helps you clean below the archwire, along the gum line and below it. You can also rinse well with mouthwash to help clear away any residual oral debris.
Orthodontic Hygiene Tools
- To better help you keep your teeth in braces healthy, consider trying these excellent oral hygiene tools:
- Get a toothbrush and toothpaste you will love using. It might be a manual toothbrush or a powered toothbrush with an ortho brush head to clean the cracks and crevices around your braces. The oscillating movement is gentle on your gums, cleans wires and brackets effectively, and even massages the gums.
- Pack a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash you can carry in your backpack, pocket, or purse to clean after meals when you are away from home.
- Stock up on waxed floss threaders, super floss or dental picks as they can get underneath the wires to clean well.
- Consider getting a proxabrush. This interproximal brush has bristles in a short cone shape that easily handles those hard-to-reach spots in your braces.
- Invest in a Waterpik or similar water flossing tool. This effective addition works by aiming a stream of water to clean easily between your teeth and may come with orthodontic tips!
- Use a good mouthwash (preferably with fluoride) to remove bacteria hiding in crevices and to support your tooth’s enamel.
- Wear a mouthguard when you are engaging in contact sports or recreational activities to protect your face, mouth, and braces’ hardware.
- Use orthodontic dental wax for your braces as needed to protect sensitive oral tissues.
- Let us know if you have any issues with your braces’ wires and brackets so we can take care of any problems quickly.
Don’t forget to keep all your scheduled dental cleanings and checkups. These are important for supporting your daily oral hygiene care, so when your braces come off, your teeth will look their best! As always, we are happy to recommend great products that can help you in your orthodontic journey, so please don’t hesitate to call and learn more! You deserve a healthy, beautiful smile!