Cleaning your teeth with braces can often be hassle. Elastics and wires make it harder to floss and brush. Food becomes lodged and more difficult to get rid of. And plaque seems to never stop building up.
Not taking proper care of your teeth can lead to gum disease or gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), more so with braces. There are many techniques and tips to help you keep those pearly whites clean even with those brackets in the way.
Here are simple some tips that are easy habits to start:
1. Always brush gently. It is important to brush this way, and firmly, to get between all the nooks and cracks of the brace. Don’t forget to brush the wire as well. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth and gum line.
2. Always remove the elastics before brushing and flossing. They can hinder accurate brushing and possibly break in the mouth. That tends to hurt.
3. Keep flossing. The orthodontist should have given you a small plastic tool to help you floss your teeth. This allows you to maneuver the floss under the wire so you can still reach the gum line. Don’t floss without this. It is very important that you are still cleaning all areas of your teeth.
4. After every meal, clean your teeth. Especially with braces food can get stuck in places you don’t feel and it can be quite embarrassing when talking to others. It can be a pain but in the long run you will be thankful.
5. Use your proxy brush the orthodontist gave you. (It looks like a little Christmas tree brush). It can help get in the nooks and cracks of the bracket and wire. However, remember to replace them because they can become infested with germs and bacteria.
6. Be aware of what you are eating. Stay clear from sticky foods such as taffy and hard candies. These can break your brackets or deform them. Also, soda and high sugar foods cause greater plaque build up leading to gingivitis.
7. Eat healthy foods. Keep a diet that contains fruits, vegetables, and enriched foods with vitamins and minerals. It will keep your teeth more clear decay and your body healthier.
There are many other simple tips that you can learn from your orthodontist while having braces. Don’t hesitate to ask because that is what they are there for, to perfect that smile.
Start your new healthy habits today!