The biggest, and perhaps most difficult change to make when you get braces is learning a whole new oral care routine. No longer will your routine involve just running into the bathroom, quickly brush and floss, and go on with your day. Instead, your new oral care routine will be a bit more complex and time-consuming. That’s why we’ve put together these braces hacks to learn how to keep them clean.
Braces Hack #1: Use the Right Type of Toothbrush
It’s extremely important to make sure you’re brushing with the right type of toothbrush. Using the wrong type when you have braces can cause a number of problems. Doing so can damage the enamel on your teeth, scratch your gums, bend the wires of your braces, and damage the brackets that are bonded to your teeth.
The type of toothbrush that you should be using if you have braces is one with the following features:
- Smaller head on the toothbrush
- Manual or battery powered
- No frayed bristles
Note: You may need to replace your toothbrush more than every three months when you have braces as the bristles on your brush will fray faster due to the wires and brackets.
Braces Hack #2: Proper Tooth Brushing Technique When You Have Braces
Brushing your teeth with braces isn’t all that different from brushing without braces. The only real difference is that you’ll want to brush gently to avoid damaging the wires and brackets. It’ll also be a bit more time consuming since you’ll be working the toothbrush around all the brackets and wires.
Here’s the proper way to brush your teeth when you have braces:
- Step 1: Gently rinse your mouth out with warm water to remove any large food particles
- Step 2: Make sure you’re holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle
- Step 3: Use small, gentle forward and backward motions when brushing
- Step 4: Brush all of the surfaces of your teeth, including chewing surfaces and inner and outer surfaces.
- Step 5: Move your toothbrush around so you’re brushing between the wires
- Step 6: Brush your tongue and roof of your mouth
Note: To keep your teeth and braces really clean, you’ll want to brush after every meal and right before bed.
Braces Hack #3: How to Floss with Braces
Another important part of your new oral care routine with braces involves flossing. You can’t just run the floss between your teeth anymore. Instead, you’ll have to work it around the wires, brackets, and in between your teeth. Luckily, there is a small dental tool that helps a lot known as a floss threader.
A floss threader helps you get the floss in those hard-to-reach areas. Once the floss has been threaded into those hard-to-reach areas, you can effectively remove any plaque or food particles that have gotten stuck between your teeth.
Braces Hack #4: Use an Interdental Toothbrush
Interdental toothbrushes are a new dental tool that should become part of your new oral care routine. These tiny little bristled brushes are used to clean around the wires and brackets of your braces. This tiny toothbrush reaches those areas which your regular toothbrush may miss.
Braces Hack #5: Try to Avoid Foods that Cause Tooth Decay or Damage Tooth Enamel
Watching what you eat throughout the day can really help to make your oral care routine a little easier to do. Avoiding foods that are known to increase your risk of tooth decay or damage your braces or the protective enamel on your teeth can help keep your mouth healthy and clean.
Some foods you may want to avoid (or only consume in moderation) include:
- Fruit juices
- Potato chips
- Extremely sugary foods or drinks such as coffee-based drinks, milkshakes, and energy drinks
- Hard candy
- Toffee and other sticky foods or candy
Have additional questions about how your oral care routine will change once you have braces? Feel free to ask any questions you may have during your orthodontic consultation with the orthodontists at OrthoCare Orthodontics.
During the orthodontic consultation, our orthodontists will explore treatment options with you, discuss what types of results you can expect to see, and answer any questions you may have about orthodontic treatment. Call us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you improve your smile!