Happy National Orthodontics Month! Although braces require extra effort on the dental hygiene front, the results of a brilliant, straight smile will be more than worth it. If you’ve recently undergone orthodontic work and thought over the sink, how do I clean my braces?, read on for a few tips to keep your smile as radiant as Bucky Badger after a win!
- Brushing Braces and Brackets
- Tools to Make Flossing with Braces Easier
- Mouthwash and Salt Water Rinses
- Dental Hygiene Benefits of Invisalign
Brushing Braces and Brackets
When it comes to brushing your braces, you’ll want to remember to be gentle but thorough. Braces are made of several pieces. Too-aggressive toothbrushing can damage brackets and wires. Look for soft-bristled toothbrushes to further help ensure brackets won’t get harmed while brushing.
To keep braces clean, first remove your rubber bands, if you have them. Next, brush the space above your top brackets. Use gentle pressure to remove any plaque. Then, angle your brush between the brackets, wire, and your teeth to eliminate any food that has been trapped. Braces catch a lot of food, so brushing after every meal is recommended. Also, don’t forget to brush the area below the brackets. Finally, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth and behind your teeth as usual.
Flossing with Braces is Tough–Try These Tools
Flossing is always important for avoiding cavities between the teeth. However, this is even more essential when you’ve got braces. Brackets and wires trap food far more easily and can hide signs of erosion, both of which can lead to devastating decay. Happily, there are some special tools available to make flossing with braces easier, so that you can look forward to a beautiful, healthy smile when your braces are finally taken off.
String floss is inexpensive and easy to find, but using it with braces can be tricky. Make the job easier with these floss threaders. Like a needle and thread, the plastic hole pulls the floss through the brackets faster than trying to poke it through on your own.
Another great tool for cleaning between teeth and braces is the interdental brush. These soft, flexible brushes do a fantastic job of cleaning around brackets, under wires, and between teeth. A water flosser is another good flossing alternative for braces.
Rinsing Your Braces at Night
After you’ve thoroughly brushed and flossed at night, the last step in keeping teeth healthy until morning is rinsing out your mouth. Choose an ADA-approved mouthwash. Some are even formulated just for patients with orthodontics, such as this one, that provides cavity protection and reduces the appearance of white spots on the teeth from braces.
You can also do a nightly swish with salt water. Salt water naturally reduces inflammation and bacteria in the mouth. This is especially helpful if you’ve recently gotten braces and still have a little swelling. To make, mix a half teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water.
Dental Hygiene Benefits of Invisalign
If you have less significant orthodontic issues, you might be a good candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign straightens teeth in about eighteen months or less using a system of clear mouth trays. The dental hygiene benefit of Invisalign is that the trays are removable, allowing you to brush and floss your teeth as usual.
Dental Care in Madison, Wisconsin
If you need to schedule a cleaning for yourself or your teen with braces, please contact us today. Affiliated Dentists provides services such as Invisalign and general dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin.
How Do I Clean My Braces? brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson