Cleaning Braces & Caring For Braces
The careful care and cleaning of your braces are key to the success of your orthodontic treatment. It is important to brush and floss after every meal to keep your teeth and gums healthy over the course of your treatment.
By keeping your teeth and braces clean and having regular checkups with your orthodontist, you can help keep your treatment on track and on schedule. We are happy to help you select the right toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and other cleaning aids for you, and answer any questions you have about caring for your braces!
Brushing With Braces
Braces can trap food particles, and proper brushing technique helps your teeth and gums remain healthy while your braces work to improve your smile. Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. An electric toothbrush can increase your brushing effectiveness. In order to get beneath your braces, hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line and brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions.
Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas between wires and teeth, and between brackets and gums, where food particles may become trapped.
Flossing With Braces
Everyone knows that flossing is vital for the health of your gums and teeth. However, the network of wires and brackets that braces utilize can make flossing difficult.
Here are some helpful tips for flossing with braces:
- Start by cutting a length of floss about 18-24 inches long.
- Next, thread the floss in the spaces between your two teeth.
- If you’re not careful, you may accidentally pull on the bracket or wire.
- Repeat this process throughout your mouth.
While these steps can help you floss with braces, investing in tools like floss threaders, water flossers or Proxa brushes is in your best interest.
Special Tools For Cleaning Braces
Special tools like floss threaders, water flossers and proxa brushes can make caring for braces easier and much more effective.
Floss threaders allow you to easily thread floss under the archwire of your braces. Pass your dental floss through the loop of the threader, and pass the stiff end of the threader behind and under the wire, pulling the floss with it. Proceed with your normal flossing routine, using the threader to get your floss between each pair of teeth.
Water flossers use a stream of water to remove food debris and plaque from between teeth and beneath the wires and brackets of your braces. These devices are an excellent supplement to traditional flossing and can remove more stubborn food debris.
Proxa or interproximal brushes are small, disposable brushes with tips like pipe-cleaners. These tools can pass between wires, brackets and teeth, and help remove food debris and plaque from hard-to-reach spaces. You can use Proxa brushes between teeth and around brackets and wires.
Foods To Avoid With Braces
Avoiding certain foods can help protect your braces from damage and keep your treatment on track. Foods that are extremely sticky or hard could cause damage to your wires or brackets. These include hard candies or nuts, chewing gum, popcorn, beef jerky, and hard pizza crust. Keep enjoying healthy foods like carrots and apples, but cut them into bite-sized pieces first! Avoiding chewing on ice, pencils or your nails, which could damage your braces or your teeth.
Keeping regular checkups with your orthodontist is one of the most important parts of successful treatment. During your regular visits, the orthodontist can thoroughly clean your teeth, change your bands, tighten wires and answer any questions about caring for your braces. This allows us to minimize your treatment time and maximize the outcome of your treatment.
Cleaning And Caring For Braces Is Easy With Our Guidance!
Brushing, flossing and having regular checkups with your orthodontist will help your treatment remain on track and on schedule. We are available to answer any questions you may have about maintaining excellent oral hygiene over the course of your orthodontic treatment. Your care and effort will be rewarded when your braces come off and reveal a healthy, beautiful smile!