Now that you have braces, it is even more important to keep up with good oral hygiene. Food can easily get stuck between your teeth and in between your brackets. In order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities, you must be diligent about brushing and flossing! Keep your oral appearance up to par with these 10 tips for clean braces:
1. One tooth at a time. When you brush Dr. Heidi Harman stresses that you take your time with each individual tooth–At least 10 seconds each–And pay close attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.
2. It’s all about the angles. Brush your top teeth and braces with your brush angled downward, and brush your bottom teeth and braces with your brush angled up.
3. The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, Dr. Harman says that it’s equally important to clean the inner and chewing surface of your teeth, your tongue and along your gum line (a key spot for plaque buildup).
4. Brush after every meal. Food can easily get caught in your braces and in between your teeth. This can lead to tooth decay. Also, the longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater the opportunity for plaque to form. If you can’t brush after every meal then thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.
5. Make a first aid teeth cleaning kit. Get into the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Design a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your bag.
6. Remove the moving parts. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.
7. Fluoride is your friend. Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.
8. Interproximal brushes. Sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes, these cone-shaped brushes come in handy when you need to reach those spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t reach.
9. Find the floss for you. Regular floss works for some H2Orthodontics patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader or Superfloss. A floss threader helps you get the floss into those tight places, and Superfloss is an all-in-one product which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces and regular floss for narrow spaces.10. Make an appointment with H2Orthodontics! Visit one of our orthodontist offices in Olathe, KS, Overland Park, KS or Kansas City, MO (and your dentist) regularly while in treatment to get a deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. Also, if you have any concerns about your braces feel free to contact Dr. Harman at 913.782.7223.
If you are undergoing Invisalign treatment, we also have great tips on cleaning your Invisalign aligners!