Keeping Your Teeth Healthy during Braces Treatment
Traditional metal braces may straighten out your teeth and your bite, but they can also make it harder to keep your teeth clean thanks to all the wires and rubber bands that get in the way. If you aren’t careful, you can end up with a straight smile that is also stained and full of cavities at the end of your braces treatment.
Keeping your teeth healthy during braces treatment requires more than brushing as usual. Here are a few things you should do to make sure your teeth come out straight, white, and healthy when the braces come off:
Brush More Often
You still have to brush your teeth every day when you have braces, of course, but you’ll have to do it a bit more often. Food can easily become trapped around the metal and the rubber bands, and it can be hard to get it all out. By brushing more frequently, you can increase the chances that you get everything and nothing is left behind to damage the teeth.
You should brush your teeth after every meal or snack when you have braces. If you can’t do that, you should at least brush three times a day. You can carry an interproximal brush to slide under the wires and dislodge any food for those times that you can’t brush after a meal or snack.
Use a Soft Toothbrush
A soft toothbrush is more malleable, so it will bend and shape around the teeth better than a hard toothbrush will. The bristles are more likely to reach farther into the crevices around your teeth and the braces, getting at those particles and plaque that are hiding out in the hardest-to-reach places.
For best results with a soft toothbrush, use it at an angle. Hold the brush at an angle against the teeth, but move it straight down. Then turn it to brush straight up.
Use a Waterpik
A waterpik shoots a pressurized stream of water into your teeth, helping to get out food particles or plaque that may be trapped between the teeth. You should use it during your braces treatment to get out bits that might be trapped by the metal or the rubber bands. The water will get out more than you could get with your toothbrush.
Every time you brush, you should floss. We know that you probably hate flossing – and having braces makes it even more of a chore – but it’s something you have to do if you want to keep your teeth healthy and looking great.
There are different kinds of floss you can use to get behind the wires on your braces and get in between your teeth. You can buy floss that is flat on one side, allowing it to slide behind the wires. Or you can buy floss that has one stiff end to push between the teeth. If you prefer, you can use your regular floss but use a floss threader to get it between your teeth.
Mouthwash should already be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine, but it is especially important when you have braces. The right mouthwash can flush out any particles that your toothbrushing and flossing doesn’t get, and it can strengthen your teeth and protect your enamel. Look for a mouthwash that has fluoride, and avoid mouthwashes that have alcohol.
Taking care of your teeth while you have braces is much like how you should be taking care of your teeth without them. You will have to brush more often, and you will need to choose the tools you use more carefully, but you still need to brush and floss like always. Also be sure to avoid foods that can get stuck in your braces or damage them.
Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead can help you keep your teeth healthy while you are wearing braces. We offer routine dental exams, fillings, and more to keep your teeth clean and healthy. We also offer cosmetic dentistry, including whitening if your teeth do become stained during braces treatment. If you do not have braces but are interested in getting them, we offer that treatment, as well. Contact us today to learn more about our services and find out how we can help you get the smile you want.
Dr. Greg Ceyhan – Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead
17100 N 67th Ave, Suite 500
Glendale, Arizona 85308
Phone: (623) 979-1515
Fax: (623) 878-1811
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm