Brushing with Braces
Your braces are a big investment in your smile.
Straighter teeth will look better and may even improve your confidence and well-being. Alignment of your teeth isn’t everything, however. You don’t want discoloration, cavities or gum disease tarnishing your smile.
Brushing with braces really isn’t that different from what you’re used to–except that it should be done more frequently. You may be accustomed to brushing twice a day, but with braces potentially trapping food against you’re teeth that’s not enough. You should brush every time you eat and before bed.
If you’re away from home without a travel toothbrush and cannot brush after a meal, at least rinse with water. Slosh it around good to loosen as much food as possible.
Each time you brush you should follow the guidelines established by the American Dental Association.
The proper brushing technique is to:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
It is also important to floss between your teeth. While the brace wires make this a bit more challenging, it’s not impossible. A floss threader can also help with this. Afterwards, don’t forget to rinse with an antibacterial mouth wash.
Dental Hygiene is Still Important
It’s important to maintain your dental hygiene while you have your braces. Your visits to the orthodontist are not meant to replace visits to your dentist!