Straightening your teeth for a healthy, properly aligned and beautiful smile takes time and effort and is worth every second! So is taking good care of your teeth along the way so that when the braces come off, your teeth are as healthy as they were when you began!
This means stepping up your oral hygiene game as you brush at least twice a day and floss at least once daily. You want to remove bacterial plaque and trapped food particles from your teeth, brackets, ligatures, archwires and metal bands. These tasks take just a little time and aren’t hard to do, so it is really just a matter of making it happen. Like the Nike slogan says, “Just do it!”
To help you take the best care of your smile while wearing braces, we have some tips to help make your job easy and fun.
If you eat while you’re away from home, it’s important to clean your teeth afterward as you still want to brush after each meal. Keep a travel-sized soft toothbrush and toothpaste in a handy plastic zip bag tucked into your backpack, pocket, or purse. If for some reason you just can’t brush your pearly whites away from home, keep a small bottle of mouthwash on hand or some kind of flossing tool and do the best you can. Every little bit helps!
People sometimes take flossing less seriously than brushing but remember, flossing cleans those areas your toothbrush can’t. To achieve sparkling clean teeth means supplementing your tooth brushing efforts with a good flossing tool that can reach those areas like the molars in the back of your mouth. Find a flossing tool you like using, and then use it daily to discourage plaque. The toothy areas under the archwires won’t clean themselves, so floss daily, and your teeth will thank you!
You have a variety of flossing options to choose from:
– Floss Threaders: These are easy to use with a loop, strand of floss and a stiff point you can stick between teeth around the gumline. They are handy for reaching beneath the archwire of the braces to remove food particles.
– Dental Picks: These look a lot like toothpicks and do an excellent job of loosening oral debris under and around your braces.
– Superfloss: A pre-cut strand of floss with a plastic threader and a spongy part to clean wider spaces along with regular floss for more narrow areas.
– Soft-Picks: Interproximal flossers with a tapered section to reach adjoining spaces between teeth and your orthodontic appliance parts.
– Water flossers: These hi-tech flossing methods stream a pressurized jet of water between your teeth to flush out oral debris with the added benefit of massaging your gums.
– Powered Toothbrush With an Ortho Brush Head: You want your toothbrush to clean the cracks and crevices around your braces. Nothing does this better than a powered toothbrush with an ortho brush head. Thanks to their oscillating movement they are gentle on the gum line while cleaning wires and brackets and also massaging your gums.
– Proxy or Interproximal Brush: These resemble tiny pipe cleaners that slide between the braces and teeth to get rid of any trapped food bits and sticky plaque.
While braces wax isn’t a cleaning tool, it is something you will likely want in your oral care arsenal to protect your teeth and gums from being damaged by brackets or loose wires. This virtually invisible wax covers metal parts, so they don’t irritate your soft oral tissues or teeth.
Keeping your smile healthy while wearing braces doesn’t have to be hard, and with the right tools you can use at home, it can even be fun! Let us know if you have any questions about your braces, we’re here to make your time in braces as enjoyable as possible.