Now that your mouth is full of metal and elastics, your brushing and flossing habits won’t be the same as before. How you clean your braces matters; there are plenty of ways for food to get stuck in your teeth and cause more problems. No one needs that.
With that in mind, you’re probably wondering how to clean your braces? We break down the best techniques and tips below and will check your cleaning at every regular appointment. Don’t forget: good oral hygiene equals Orthobucks!
How to Clean Braces – Brushing
First off, make sure you get a soft-bristled toothbrush or toothbrush head (if you’re using an electric one). Getting one with a smaller head also will make it easier to access the more difficult parts of your mouth. When you have braces, you will need to brush your teeth in the morning, after meals, and before bed. Set a timer for two minutes when brushing, or put on your favourite two-minute song!
Ensure you brush every surface of your teeth, this means the inside, outside, lower, and upper chewing surfaces of your teeth, and don’t forget up near the gumline as well.
For the best technique, hold your toothbrush at a forty-five-degree angle and then gently brush back-and-forth to clean your teeth effectively. Work your way around your entire mouth (even your tongue) and especially around the brackets and under wires where food can easily get caught.
If you haven’t been flossing before, you will definitely need to now that you have braces. Brushing alone can’t remove bits of food in between your teeth. You will need to floss at least once a day (ideally before bed).
To best get around the wires of your braces, a floss threader is ideal. Kind of like a sewing needle, it pulls a piece of floss through its ‘eye’ and then pushes it under the wire to get at the space between your teeth. Then you just work the floss up and down gently to clean your teeth. Continue to do so until all the spaces between your teeth are done.
Special Oral Care Tools
To compliment your oral health there are other options you can use in a pinch to keep your mouth clean as well.
- When it comes to brushing, fluoride toothpaste can especially help. Because there’s a greater chance for tooth decay, the fluoride reduces that risk by providing a better clean.
- Oral irrigation systems, devices that push water in a thin stream to directly flush around any orthodontic hardware and the teeth, can be helpful as well. They flush plaque biofilm, food, and bacteria, from your mouth but shouldn’t ever be used as direct replacements to brushing and flossing.
Why It’s Important to Clean Your Braces
Your braces have many small components, and because your mouth builds up bacteria so easily, ensuring all parts of your braces are clean can help prevent many oral issues. It can be challenging because there are that many more areas of your mouth to clean now, but it’s no less important.
Brushing and flossing properly ensures you avoid both tooth decay and cavities. While both are important regardless of whether you have braces or not, because of their design and placement, cleaning your braces is crucial to maintaining your oral health.