Keeping Good Oral Hygiene While Wearing Braces – Some Key Tips
Braces are an orthodontic tool that use wires and brackets to adjust and straighten teeth, as well as improve overall oral health. They address a variety of dental issues, such as crowding or misalignment. Most patients require about two years to complete a full treatment with braces, and some wear them for even longer. Of course, treatment time will vary based on the patient's unique goals. Since treatment can be long, it means it’s important to learn to properly care for your teeth while you’re wearing braces. If you don’t, it can lead to more serious dental issues down the road. Keep reading for more information on how to keep your teeth and mouth healthy while wearing braces.
Properly Brush Your Teeth
It’s especially important to properly brush your teeth with braces, as it’s easy for food particles to get stuck between the wires and brackets. For the best oral hygiene, it’s recommended to brush twice a day with non-abrasive toothpaste. Start by brushing your gum line, then switch to a 45-degree angle to brush the top of the brackets. Then, shift the angle of the brush up slightly and carefully brush under the brackets and wire. Finally, clean the surfaces of your teeth. You should take slightly longer to brush your teeth when you’re wearing braces to ensure a thorough clean, at least two minutes from start to finish. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every few months to reduce the introduction of bacteria in your mouth.
Learn to Floss While Wearing Braces
Flossing while wearing braces can seem like a daunting task—but it’s not as hard as it looks. And it’s an essential part of oral hygiene while wearing braces as it’s necessary to remove food particles and plaque build-up from teeth. To floss with braces, you have to use a special orthodontic flossing tool to get behind the wires. Slide it between each tooth and gently touch the gums, just as you would with regular floss. If you find this process difficult, then ask your orthodontist about using a water flosser.
When you wear braces, it’s a good idea to always carry a bottle of water with you so that you can rinse with water shortly after eating. This helps clean your teeth when you’re unable to brush and helps keep food from getting stuck in between your braces. It can also help prevent cavities from developing. Also, after brushing your teeth, be sure to rinse with antibacterial mouthwash, which removes any remaining particles (and prevents bad breath).
Avoid Certain Foods
Unfortunately, some foods can damage or break braces and should be avoided throughout your treatment. It’s best to avoid foods that are very sticky or hard as they could easily snap the hardware of braces, such as gum, popcorn, nuts, and caramels. Maintaining a nutritious diet with lots of calcium is essential when undergoing braces treatment, as it helps keep your teeth, bones, and tissues healthy.
Call Today for a Consultation
While orthodontic treatment with braces can be a lengthy process, the end results are worth it. Braces can improve the look and feel of teeth, increase your confidence, and avoid potentially serious dental complications that come with teeth misalignment. If you’re ready to discuss the positive impact orthodontics could have on your life and self-esteem, contact our orthodontic team in Winnipeg today to schedule your consultation.