Seven steps for keeping your braces clean isn’t nearly as daunting a reality as it may sound. Braces-wearers simply have additional responsibilities when it comes to keeping their teeth and braces clean every day. Every move you make slides naturally into the next and comprise a solid routine that ensures your teeth will be white and healthy throughout your treatment and especially after the brackets come off.
1. Choose the right tools.
An traditional toothbrush isn’t really going to cut it when it comes to cleaning your teeth, brackets, and wires. An electric toothbrush makes cleaning much easier and more thorough, whether you’re a teen wearing braces or an adult. And don’t forget to use a spindle brush which is made specifically to get food out from in between teeth and braces.
2. Brush the visible parts of your smile.
Your brushing routine should start with cleaning the exterior of your teeth – the surfaces to which the braces are adhered and the braces themselves. Brush under the braces, above the braces (including your gums), and get into all the nooks and crannies as much as possible.
3. Don’t forget the less noticeable teeth.
Brush your molars and other back teeth normally, using circular motions to eliminate plaque. Even if some teeth don’t have brackets, they deserve just as much time and attention to ensure that your entire smile looks good and stays healthy. No one wants to get a cavity while they’re wearing braces.
4. Use a water pik.
If there is one modern tool that has made flossing and cleaning that much easier and more effective, it’s a water pik. This high-powered jet of water works particles out from in between the teeth, a savior for braces-wearers who struggle to floss normally. A water pik is also helpful for kids who have expander along with brackets and wires, cleaning out that appliance and relieving discomfort.
5. Use mouthwash.
Don’t underestimate the power of mouthwash as part of your teeth-cleaning routine. With all the different flavors and concentrations out there, you or your teeth can find one that suits the tastebuds. Brackets and wires collect plaque and food particles and anytime brushing isn’t stellar – maybe because you’re feeling sensitive after an adjustment – mouthwash can help make up for some of the slack and kill any remaining bacteria.
6. Maintain your supplies.
Always rinse your toothbrush before and after you brush so food pieces don’t get stuck in the bristles and breed bacteria. Make it a point to change the brush head regularly – at least once every three months – because the braces will wear out the toothbrush far faster than just brushing teeth without braces.
7. Watch what you eat.
It’s true that people who wear braces do have food restrictions – no popcorn, no gum, no chewy candies, and so on. Staying away from these foods will not only keep your braces from suffering damage, they’ll make sure your teeth are healthy and clean. Watch the sugar and anything that could stick to your teeth and remember that in just a short time your braces will be off and you can enjoy all your favorites again.
Learn more about the tricks of the trade when you schedule an orthodontic evaluation with Dr. Soleil and her team at Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, WA.