Braces are one of the best ways to correct improperly aligned teeth and if you want to get the most from your braces, you must be prepared to take good care of them. If you maintain a good level of oral hygiene, you will be able to prevent complications related to braces such as gum inflammation and disease and tooth decay. Brushing teeth with braces in the right way is one of the basic elements of proper oral hygiene.
Teeth that are subjected to orthodontic treatment have a tendency to experience decay and gum inflammation more frequently than regular teeth. The reason for this occurrence is simple – in many cases, dental plaque forms a layer on the metal elements of the braces and accumulates in parts of the teeth that are hard to reach. If it is not eliminated in a timely manner, this plaque can become tartar.
A situation like this can easily lead to gum and teeth problems and the more you wait for the removal of dental plaque, the more difficult it will be to finish this procedure. So, brushing your teeth with braces is even more important than brushing regular teeth. The best option is to use an electric toothbrush with oscillating and rotating technology capable of removing more plaque compared to a manual toothbrush.
In addition, you should use some of the few special pieces of equipment for oral care designed for people with braces. Some of these items include special toothbrushes for cleaning areas between metal braces, special dental floss and an irrigator.
How to Brush Your Teeth With Traditional Fixed Braces
Fixed braces are braces that remain in your mouth constantly throughout your entire treatment. The braces are not removed until your teeth are straight. When brushing your teeth with braces, you do not need any special type of toothpaste. Any brand will work just fine.
Start above the braces
Once you have the toothpaste on your toothbrush, you should begin by brushing above the braces, up to the gums. This will get any food particles away from the top of the gums. You should brush the top of the braces for at least thirty seconds.
Brush below the braces
Next, you need to brush your teeth below the braces. This should be done for an additional thirty seconds.
Brush over the braces
After you have brushed above and below the braces, you should brush over the braces. Be sure to do this gently, so that you do not snap a wire, or force one of the braces off the teeth.
Brush the back of your teeth
After you have brushed the area where the braces are, you can start brushing the backside of your teeth. This can be done in the same manner that you brushed before you had braces. The backsides should be brushed for thirty seconds on the top, and thirty seconds on the bottom.
Brush your molars & rear teeth
Finally, you can brush both sides of your back teeth and molars. Be sure to brush this area well, as this is a common area for cavities. You should brush the back teeth and molars for at least a few minutes. After you have finished brushing, you can rinse your mouth.
Use the provided tools
When you get your braces put on, you will receive a tool which will allow you to clean under the wires on the braces. It looks like a small bottle brush. You can put a small dab of toothpaste on the brush, and brush under the wire between each tooth. When you have finished, you can rinse your mouth again.
Brush after every meal
It is best to brush your teeth after every meal. If this is not possible, you must brush your teeth at least twice a day. Also, it is important to remember to floss your teeth at least once a day in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Be mindful of what you eat
As well as regular hygiene, it is advisable for people who are following orthodontic treatment to make some changes in their diet. For instance, you should definitely avoid extremely hard products like nuts or sticky foods like toffee and fudge. In addition, you should reduce the intake of foods that are usually linked to tooth decay like soft drinks packed with sugar and sweets and chocolate. Finally, some food with powerful colourants like berries, red wine, curry sauce and beetroots can stain certain parts of the braces.
How to Brush Your Teeth With Aligners
Aligners are mostly invisible and made out of a very strong medical grade of plastic. Throughout your treatment, you will wear a number of different aligners, varying in size, designed to straighten your teeth more each time you begin wearing a new aligner.
Remove aligners when you brush your teeth
Because you remove your aligners before you eat and drink, you do not have to adhere to the restrictions that you do when wearing other types of braces. When you brush your teeth, you would also remove your aligners.
When you remove your aligners to brush your teeth, you would brush as you normally would, and be sure to remember to floss. While your brushing technique will not change, you will need to learn how to clean your aligners. If you do not care for your aligners properly, they can become discoloured and will be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Soak them whilst eating
When you eat, you should always remove your aligners. When you remove them, you should rinse them with warm water. If possible, it is a good idea to soak your aligners in a denture cleaner, or in cleaning crystals given to you by your orthodontist. The best time to soak them is when you are eating because that is the only time that you should be taking them out for any period of time.
Rinse them before replacing them
Before you put your aligners back in after eating, you should wash them with a mild, antibacterial soap. Be sure to rinse them off well with warm water before putting them back in.
Brush your aligners
Each time you brush your teeth, you should also brush your aligners. Be sure to brush them gently, and rinse them with warm water completely before putting them back in.
How to Care for Removable Braces
Removable braces, also known as retainers, can be worn at any time during your dental treatment, however, they are most often worn after braces are removed. It is important that you take proper care of your removable braces to avoid damaging them, or bacteria growing in the dips and grooves.
Remove your braces
When brushing your teeth, you should always remove your braces, and brush as you normally would, making sure to floss at least once a day.
Brush & clean your retainers
After you have brushed your teeth, you need to brush your braces. This should be done when they are out of your mouth. Using your regular brand of toothpaste, brush the braces gently. Be sure not to brush too hard, as you can snap the wire off from the plastic.
Rinse your mouth whilst wearing them
After you have brushed your teeth and your braces, put the braces back in your mouth. When they are back in, you rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash.
You should always remove your braces when you are brushing your teeth, and when you are eating. Other than that, it is important to wear your braces all the time or to follow your orthodontist’s instructions if you want your teeth to stay straight.
Taking care of your teeth is important for the way they look and for the life of your teeth. The better care you take of them when you are younger, the longer you will have your teeth when you are older. Following proper brushing techniques, whether you have traditional fixed braces, aligners, or removable braces is very important.
For more advice about looking after your braces, please contact us now.
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