At KBL Orthodontics, our goal is to ensure the best treatment in the comfort of a friendly and inviting office. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene is essential to get the best treatment possible when getting braces. This starts with getting all the necessary information to ensure the best treatment. To help you ease through the process, here are some tips for brushing your teeth with braces.
Invest In A Good Toothbrush
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.
Preparation Is Key
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.
When you have braces, it is vital that you take your time and thoroughly brush all the necessary surfaces of your braces and teeth. Experts say you should spend a minimum of two minutes actively brushing your teeth, but it may take you longer, especially when you are first getting in the habit of brushing with braces. If you’re having trouble reaching all the surfaces of your teeth due to the wires and brackets, try using a proxabrush after your regular brushing routine. Its small size and flexibility will help you clean under and around your braces.
Flossing with brackets and wires attached to your teeth can be pretty tough, but it is an important step in any dental hygiene routine. If you are using string floss, use a floss threader to maneuver the floss around your braces. Always be gentle as you move the floss against your teeth and gums. Alternatively, you can use a water flosser to clean the tight spots between your teeth.
Mind Your Positioning
When dealing with braces, holding your brush in the correct position is crucial for proper cleaning technique and easing potential discomfort while brushing. When you brush, make sure you keep your toothbrush in the appropriate place—at a 45-degree angle, above the gum line. Keeping your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle will allow you to reach each tooth and give you the proper angle to scrub around each bracket in your braces and any food or bacteria that may have gotten caught.
Make Sure You Clean Your Entire Mouth
It’s easy to forget the back of your teeth when adjusting to brushing with braces, but they are
just as crucial in the cleaning process. Brush the backs of your teeth that face your mouth and throat. Pay most attention to brushing down at the gum line, as this is where most tartar builds. Brush the backs of your teeth that face your mouth and throat. Pay most attention to brushing down at the gum line, as this is where most tartar builds.
It’s a common misconception that the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be. That’s not only untrue but brushing with too much force can damage your braces and cause major discomfort. Some higher-end electric models will have a sensor feature that shuts down if it detects too much pressure. To avoid these situations, being gentle with your diet and brushing habits is essential. Foods like candy, gum and nuts can be sticky or tough on your braces and potentially affect treatment if eaten too often.
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.
Find Your Best Smile At KBL
At KBL Orthodontics, our to make your orthodontic experience the best it can be. Our team of trained professionals takes pride in the work we do so our patients can leave with their best smiles. If you or someone you know is considering orthodontic treatment, give us a call. We can’t wait to help you transform your smile!