How to Take Care of Braces: An Expert Guide
Taking proper care of your teeth is always important, and that’s especially true when you have braces. During that time, your teeth are working hard to realign themselves. While your teeth are shifting, good hygiene plays a key role in supporting your oral health. To ensure your teeth are straight and healthy after your braces are removed, you need to establish a consistent cleaning routine. Cleaning around wires and brackets with tight corners and edges might sound tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.
We’re going to give you some helpful tips and tricks to make the process much easier. If you use our braces care guidelines and get regular checkups, all your hard work will pay off—and then some!
Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
The key to proper brushing is using the right appliance. We recommend an electric toothbrush with a head specifically designed for your braces. As you brush, use a sensitive mode at a lower speed. This will give your brackets and wires extra care, while still giving your teeth a thorough cleaning.
As you brush, you’ll want to follow these important steps:
First, take out any elastics, bands and removable orthodontic appliances. This will make brushing a lot easier and help you avoid damaging those pieces.
Next, rinse your mouth with water to loosen any leftover food particles stuck in and around the braces.
Now you’re ready to start. Place your toothbrush on the gumline at a 45-degree angle, and gently brush. From there, set the brush on the top of the brackets and brush the top of each bracket at a downward angle.
After that, it’s time to brush the bottom portion of the brackets. To do this, angle the toothbrush up and brush the bottom of the brackets and wires.
Continue to brush each wire from top to bottom, and use your toothbrush on both the upper and lower teeth.
Once you’ve finished brushing, rinse thoroughly and examine your teeth and braces to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
The trick to cleaning teeth with braces is to work carefully around the wires and brackets. For your best chance at a clean, healthy mouth, we recommend brushing for two minutes and doing this twice a day.
Don't Forget to Floss
Food has a knack for getting stuck in our teeth, and this can be even more of an issue with braces. That’s where floss comes in to the save the day. We recommend flossing once a day with waxed floss. Avoid unwaxed floss because it’s more likely to get caught and shred in your braces. Another tip is to use a floss threader to make those brackets and wires easier to navigate. These can be found at your local drugstore and will help you hold your floss in place.
As you begin, thread the floss carefully under the main wire of your braces. You’ll want to avoid the floss coming into contact with the wire as much as possible, as this can be a very sensitive area. Once you’ve gotten to that point, begin flossing between two teeth. Move it up and down gently before carefully removing it under the main wire. Then, move on to the next two teeth and continue.
Other Helpful Tools: Mouthguards & Retainers
Apart from using the right toothbrush and remembering to floss, there are other essential appliances to keep in mind. Athletes and teeth grinders with (and without) braces will greatly benefit from using a mouthguard. You can get a customized guard designed specifically to go around your braces and cover both your upper and lower teeth. A mouthguard can act as a safety buffer for your braces and help prevent damage from physical contact.
While it’s important to take care of your teeth when you have braces, dental hygiene and upkeep are just as essential after they're removed. On that exciting day when you get your braces taken off, you’ll receive a retainer. This appliance is vital to prevent any lapse in your orthodontic treatment. After you have your braces removed, Beth’s Braces typically recommends wearing your retainer all the time during the first few months. After that, you should wear it every night from then on. This can be an easy step to forget or overlook after your teeth have been straightened, but it’s so very crucial to maintaining your teeth’s realignment. If you forgo wearing your retainer, there is a very high chance your teeth will shift back to the way they were prior to braces. Don't let all your time and hard work be for nothing!
More Hygiene Practices: Mouthwash & Retainer Care
There are some places that your toothbrush just can’t reach. Using a fluoride mouthwash after you brush will help with those areas. It’s a great way to control plaque buildup which can often lead to gum disease if left untreated.
But you don’t just want to clean your mouth. You also want to sanitize your retainer. So brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth. The only difference? Don’t use toothpaste on your retainer. All you’ll need is a toothbrush and water. To go one step further, soak your retainer in denture cleanser once a week. This will help disinfect it and get rid of harmful bacteria.
Get the Braces Care You Deserve at Beth's Braces
The more you know about braces care, the better off your teeth will be. If you're ready to take the next step and find a Las Vegas orthodontist, Beth's Braces is here to help. Get ready for a great smile and the best braces in Vegas. To learn more about how to take care of braces and our unparalleled service, contact us today.