If you wear dental braces, you are probably absolutely beside yourself with excitement to finally see the results of all of your hard work. You have been looking forward to completing your treatment and revealing your new and beautiful smile. However, your orthodontic treatment will end in disappointment if you have your braces removed only to discover that you have developed tooth decay from not properly taking care of your teeth while you wore braces. Brushing and flossing can admittedly be somewhat of a challenge while wearing dental braces, which is why we here at First Impressions Orthodontics for Children & Adults would like to share with you some important tips to help you keep your teeth clean and healthy while wearing them.
How to Brush and Floss Your Teeth When You are Wearing Braces
Most of us have a good general idea about how to take care of your teeth. We are all shown by a patient parent or loved one who taught us everything they knew about oral care. Once you get dental braces, though, it may feel like you are learning how to take care of your braces all over again. Do not worry or despair or stress yourself out - we will show you how to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces!
The methods we recommend for brushing and flossing while wearing braces are not that dissimilar to how you would normally brush and floss your teeth. Before you begin, first rinse your mouth out with a swish of warm water. This will help remove some of the trapped food and debris trapped in your teeth and braces. Then, we want you to start with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Put a pea-sized dollop of fluoridated toothpaste on it, then gently start brushing your teeth using a small circular motion at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Brush slowly and carefully and brush each quadrant of your teeth.
Next, we want you to brush again, but this time pointing your brush down toward your braces. This will help remove any plaque (the filmy white bacterial residue that forms on your teeth) and trapped food that are stuck behind your wires. Once you have finished brushing your braces, finish up by cleaning the chewing surfaces of your teeth and gently brushing your tongue to get rid of any bacteria that may remain. We advise that you spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth, but no longer than three minutes to avoid accidentally overbrushing.
How to Floss with Braces
After you brush, you are now ready to floss. You can make this easier with an interdental brush, which is a special kind of brush that can help you clean between the wires and your teeth. It is no replacement for proper flossing, however. To floss, you will need to use a threader to help you work the floss between the wires. Start with an 18-inch segment of floss and work it between each tooth and up underneath the gumline. Use a clean section of floss for each tooth to avoid spreading bacteria around.
Need More Information?
Brushing and flossing with braces will get easier over time and with practice. To learn more about how to keep your braces clean, or to set up an appointment with us here at First Impressions Orthodontics for Children & Adults, please give us a call at (203) 292-9595 today!