Braces are orthodontic devices that are usually used to improve teeth alignment and dental health in addition to taking care of a series of other dental issues like deep bites, underbites, overbites, cross bites and other jaw related issues. While braces may help you get that perfect smile, the problem arises when you need to brush your teeth after fitting them.
On one hand, you need to make sure that you clean your teeth properly in order to avoid germ buildup in the mouth. On the other hand, you need to figure out a way to get it done as gently as possible so as to not disturb or break the braces. So if you have just been fitted with a set of braces and don’t know how to go about brushing your teeth, here are some useful pointers that can help you out.
Tips To Brush Your Teeth With Braces
A Simple Step by Step Procedure
The Front Teeth
The easiest part to brush would be the outside of the front teeth. So it is considered best to start from there. Keep the brush at a straight angle and start brushing your teeth using soft, gentle, circular strokes. Once you have covered the front teeth, move gently to the outside of the back teeth and repeat the same procedure. Cover the other side of the mouth as well.
The Areas In Between
Now that you have brushed the outside area of the teeth, you need to concentrate on cleaning the areas in between the teeth and the gums in order to prevent cavities and other dental issues. Turn your tooth brush upwards by 45 degrees and slowly brush the bottom teeth, using a to and fro motion.
The Upper and Lower Teeth
Now angle the toothbrush downwards by 45 degrees and brush the upper teeth. It pays to start from the top of the tooth and work your way downwards in order to avoid applying pressure on the braces.
The Back Teeth
Move to the back of the mouth and gently brush the inner areas of the back teeth on both sides of the mouth. Then move over to the chewing surfaces, making sure you brush both the upper and lower surfaces of the upper and lower teeth.
Finish the routine with waxed floss. Make sure to remove any rubber bands before you floss. Irrespective of the routine that you follow for flossing, make sure that you cover the areas between your teeth and the wires present in the braces.
Floss gently as snagging or tugging the floss could cause the braces to bend, loosen or break. And floss completely to make sure there are no pieces of floss left behind in the mouth in order to prevent bacteria buildup.
Tips to Take Care of Your Teeth with Braces
Although brushing and flossing properly and regularly can help keep your teeth clean and hygienic, here are a few steps you need to follow in order to make sure that your teeth (and braces) remain clean and healthy in the long run.
Make it a point to brush and floss twice a day. In the case of braces, it is considered wise to brush your teeth after every meal. This would help remove residual food particles that could otherwise stain the braces and your teeth. You may not notice the stains until after you remove the braces by which time it would be too late to make amends.
Never brush vigorously or hurriedly. Chances are you might break the wires or brackets in the braces, or damage your gums in the process. It also pays to stick to the toothpaste recommended by your dentist rather than opting for brands that could potentially damage the braces (and your teeth).
Choice of Toothpaste
Most doctors usually recommend a fluoride toothpaste for clients fitted with dental braces. Alternatively, you can use products that are medically certified by a leading organization, like the IDA. Avoid using whitening toothpastes as they may contain chemicals that can damage the braces.
Replacing the Toothbrush
An essential part of dental care involves identifying the right time to replace a toothbrush. Many individuals tend to keep on using their toothbrush until the bristles break or get stained completely. It is strongly recommended that a toothbrush be replaced as soon it starts showing signs of wear.
It is also considered advisable to replace a toothbrush immediately after you have recovered from flu. There are strong chances that the bristles in the brush that you use may contain the germs from the flu. And so replacing your brush could prevent the infection from recurring or causing any dental anomalies.
If you find it difficult to use a manual brush, you can opt for either an electric brush or an interdental brush (called a proxabrush) to clean your braces and teeth. These brushes would help you clean in and around the braces easily without damaging the orthodontic wires and brackets. So if you are having trouble brushing your teeth manually every day, get one of these beauties to help you out!