Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step to get a beautiful, healthy, straight smile: That’s why you got braces! Now you’re faced with the challenge of keeping your teeth clean and healthy while sporting brackets, wires, and other bits and pieces. Learning how to brush your teeth with braces can take a little practice, but Dr. Petrunic and the team at Petrunic Orthodontics are here to assist you so that you can get the best smile possible. Here are 7 tips for brushing your teeth with braces.
Prepare With A Pre-Rine
It’s important to start your routine by swishing water around before you brush. Sometimes food can get stuck between your braces which can be difficult for your toothbrush to reach. Before brushing, rinse your mouth with water to dislodge any food particles stuck between your braces. Make sure to swish for about 30 seconds. Also, rinse your toothbrush before adding toothpaste, as this will shed debris and bacteria that may have lingered after your last brushing. Swishing with water before brushing is a great way to help loosen up food attached to your braces, making it easier to protect and perfect your smile.
Use A Good Toothbrush
Investing in a quality toothbrush is essential to getting the best results from treatment. Your toothbrush is your primary cleaning tool for maintaining healthy oral care. Using a high-quality toothbrush while you have braces ensures your teeth remain properly cleaned and give you the best chance for the most successful treatment. Both manual and electric toothbrushes work well to clean braces, but consulting your orthodontist is recommended before choosing a new toothbrush or changing your routine.
Electric brushes come in various styles with different appliances, so your orthodontist can help you decide what brush is right for you. The main types of electric brushes are usually battery-operated vs. rechargeable toothbrushes. Battery-operated toothbrushes typically cost less than rechargeables, which can range from $50 to $300, depending on features.
Manual, soft toothbrushes also work just fine to clean the areas around your brackets. However, many professionals recommend the orthodontic cut, where the bristles are in a subtle “V” shape, with the middle bristles being lower than the outer bristles.
Use Flouride Toothpaste
Your orthodontist may recommend a specific toothpaste to use, and if you’re unsure of what to choose, you can always ask. A good rule of thumb when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment and wearing braces is to avoid whitening toothpaste. If you use a whitening toothpaste when you’re wearing braces, you’ll end up with uneven whitening. Because the toothpaste won’t be able to reach every area of your teeth, instead, choose a toothpaste that has fluoride because this is the type of toothpaste that’s best at preventing cavities. An alternative to toothpaste with fluoride is using a fluoride gel on your teeth daily, preventing bacteria. Or, you can rinse with a fluoride liquid when you’re finished cleaning.
Use The Right Dental Tools
You don’t necessarily want to use a generic toothbrush to clean your teeth when you have braces. Even if you brush daily. And being careful about the types of foods you eat, you can still end up with left behind food particles because they can get stuck in the braces. Consider using an interdental brush or a gum massager when cleaning your teeth. Also, always make sure to rinse your mouth in order to get rid of any food particles that you’ve loosened up.
Don’t Forget to Floss
A big component of brushing your teeth when you have braces is flossing. It can be a bit difficult at first to floss when you have braces, but you’ll be used to it in no time. It’s a good idea to floss once daily, using waxed floss, because unwaxed floss can easily get stuck in your braces. Thread the floss under the main wire and then bring it between your teeth. Floss as normal, making sure to be gentle as you move from tooth to tooth. It’s better to floss at any point of the day than not at all. The absolute best time to floss is at the end of the day once you’re finished eating for the day.
Once you have brushed and flossed, it’s time to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash. This helps eliminate germs, removes any lingering food particles, and freshens your breath.
Before you decide that you’re done brushing your teeth, take a few minutes to look in a mirror and check for any leftover food. This step can help you evaluate your efforts and determine if you need to refine your routine. When you’re satisfied with your work, replace any elastics, bands, or removable orthodontic appliances and return all your tools to their proper places.
Brighten Your Smile With Petrunic Orthodontics
Dr. Petrunic and the team at Petrunic Orthodontics know that getting the right information is essential when considering orthodontic care. Our team is committed to helping you choose the best treatment plan for you and your needs so that you can face the world with the clear confidence of a straight smile. If you or someone you know is ready for treatment, please call us to get scheduled today for a free consultation!