Cleaning teeth with braces can be a challenge. How do you get around all those braces brackets and wires? Is there an easy way to floss with braces? We have a few tips for you!
Brushing and flossing with braces isn’t as difficult as it seems with the right tools. The Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics team will give you suggestions when you get your braces in Topeka, KS, but you may want to keep these tips handy. Great oral hygiene is important to your teeth and gums, especially while wearing braces!
Brushing With Braces
You need to brush for good hygiene at least twice a day for two minutes. Brushing after every meal, especially with braces, is OK if you time it correctly.
Food can get caught in your braces and cling to your teeth, causing tooth decay. It can also cause white spots on your teeth after braces. However, give your saliva time to wash the acidic foods and drinks from your teeth so your teeth aren’t as vulnerable to the abrasives in your toothbrush and toothpaste.
You also need to floss your teeth daily. Flossing with braces can be a challenge. Many prefer using a water flosser, such as a Waterpik, with braces. However, actual floss will do a much better job. A water flosser is OK to use for extra cleanliness.
Tips for Brushing With Braces
Here are a few tips on how to clean teeth with braces.
- Use small, circular motions to brush each tooth well and remove food particles and plaque.
- Be sure to brush at the gum line to avoid getting gum disease.
- Use a back-and-forth motion for the chewing surfaces, particularly on the molars and premolars.
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste, which will help strengthen your enamel.
- Do not use whitening toothpaste with braces; you could end up with dark squares in the middle of your teeth when the brackets come off!
- Do not eat or drink for half an hour after brushing to give the fluoride time to soak into the enamel.
- A manual toothbrush is OK, but an electric toothbrush will do a better job.
These tips will make cleaning teeth with braces easier and more efficient.
Tips for Flossing With Braces
It is just as important to floss your teeth with braces as it is to brush them. Here are a few tips on flossing with braces and some helpful braces cleaning tools.
- Use dental floss! Water flossers are OK, but they don’t have the scrubbing power that actual floss has.
- Use a floss threader to get the floss around the wires. A floss threader looks like a giant plastic needle. Thread the floss through the “eye,” and the flat point slides through your teeth, allowing the floss to slide under or over your archwires.
- Floss at least once daily BEFORE brushing so you brush the debris off your teeth afterward.
- Make sure you use dental floss once daily, but you can use a water flosser in between to remove particles between your teeth and around your braces.
- You can also use a proxabrush, or interdental brush, to get between the wires. It looks like a small pipe cleaner and can get around your archwire to clean the surface and between your teeth.
Flossing is important to prevent gum disease and tooth decay before, during, and after braces.
Using Mouthwash With Braces
A good fluoride mouthwash can protect your enamel, keeping your teeth healthy during braces treatment. If you can’t brush after a meal — lunch, for example — then rinse your mouth with water and use mouthwash.
There are different types of mouthwash, including fluoride mouthwash and antiseptic mouthwash. Though the latter doesn’t have fluoride, it does kill the germs and bacteria that form plaque on the teeth. It will still help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Here are a few tips on using mouthwash with braces.
- Use mouthwash half an hour after brushing to give your toothpaste’s fluoride time to work.
- Do not eat or drink for half an hour after using fluoride mouthwash so the fluoride has time to work.
- Swish the mouthwash for at least 30 seconds, ensuring you hit every tooth.
- Do not rinse with water after spitting out the mouthwash.
Braces Treatment in Topeka, KS
Once you know how to take care of braces and brush your teeth with braces, you’ll find it’s not the challenge it first seems. The Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics team will guide you through your braces treatment, including cleaning your braces.
Are you ready for braces in Topeka, KS? If so, schedule an appointment with us. We’ll let you know if braces are right for you or if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. We look forward to hearing from you!