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Tips for Great Oral Hygiene with Braces

Photo Courtesy of Pexels.com - Sharon McCutcheon

The biggest reason people should get dental braces is that their misaligned teeth lower their confidence. However, braces do not just give us a beautiful smile; they fix even the smallest of issues which otherwise go unnoticed such as an incorrect bite. It's after the teeth straightening treatment that we realize how important a correct bite is.

Diligently following an oral care routine can be a tedious task but if you neglect it, prepare for stained and unhealthy teeth. So, how to maintain good oral hygiene? Read further to find out.

Brush and Floss, A Little More While misaligned teeth are hard to clean, teeth with braces are harder. Brush your teeth after every meal to ensure that food doesn't stay trapped inor near the brackets of the braces. The food when trapped for longcauses plaque which can lead to serious dental problems.To finish your orthodontic treatment within time and without any problem, here's what you need to ensure:

  • Take off elastics and removable parts of the dental braces.
  • Use an interproximal brush if you have spaces between the teeth and brush your teeth in a circular motion.
  • Tooth decay is likely once you get braces. Your orthodontist may suggest fluoride varnish to the teeth 2 or 3 times a year.
  • Do not rinse mouth after brushing teeth since it washes the fluoride away.

Approach to Cleaning Braces – A correct approach is a part of the orthodontic services you get from your orthodontists, but in case you missed it, here's what you need to know.

  • To clean your braces, brush from the top of the wire to down while holding the brush at a 45-degree angle.
  • Floss once a day using waxed floss since unwaxed floss can get caught in your braces.
  • Before passing the floss between the teeth, take the floss and thread it under the main wire.
  • See your orthodontist every 1-3 months to check if you need adjustments.

Be Careful of What You Eat – Some foods not onlydamage your teeth during orthodontic treatment but the braces too. Here's what you need to avoid:

  • Sticky foods. Foods like caramel and chewing gum stick to the brackets and cause damage.
  • Foods that you bite on to such as apples, corn, carrots, etc. You can, however, cut them into smaller pieces if eating.
  • Sugary foods and drinks to prevent cavity.
  • Hard foods like nuts and pretzels.

Also, don't bite meat off the bone as it can bend and damage the wires.

Tools to Make the Job Simpler Basic brushing and flossing may not be enough to keep the teeth clean and debris free. Here are a few tools that can use if you wear braces:

  1. Floss Threader – It consists of a loop to place a strand of floss and a stiff end that goes between your teeth at the gum line.
  2. Superfloss – This pre-cut floss with a plastic threader on the end is great for narrower spaces.
  3. Electric Toothbrush with Ortho Brush Head – It has an oscillating motion soft brush head that cleans gum line, wires, and brackets.

Moreover, regular visits to your orthodontist and dentistare extremely important to prevent cavities and gum diseases. Ask your orthodontist all the questions you have and you will be on your way to a clean and straight smile.


Dr. Satish Pai

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and an Ivy League trained dentist who has and has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Rome Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with this family.

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