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Brushing with Braces: How to Keep Your Braces Clean

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How often do you skip brushing your teeth? Do you floss every day?

Most people skip brushing once in a while, and many don’t floss at all. This is a problem, especially if you have braces.

Braces are an awesome tool for getting the perfect smile. But, if you don’t brush enough, it doesn’t matter how straight your teeth are. Stained and cavity-ridden teeth will result in even more dental work needed.

You know how important it is to brush, now you need to know the best ways of doing it. Keep reading for the 8 best tips for brushing with braces.

1. Avoid Sugar

Your dentist likely told you to avoid eating chewy candy and popcorn. These foods can damage the braces and even pull them off the tooth. But, eating sweets can also affect your dental hygiene.

Sugars are the main diet of bad bacteria in your mouth. Our mouths have lots of natural bacteria, but some of them aren’t so helpful. These bad bacteria get stronger when they can feed off the sugar that gets stuck in your teeth.

This leads to these bad bacteria creating acids from the sugar. The acid damages tooth enamel leaving it unprotected from decay and cavities.

Set yourself up for dental success by avoiding sugary foods in the first place.

2. Use the Right Brush

Toothbrushes come in all different materials, densities, and flexibilities. When you have braces, you want to choose a brush that is gentle on your gum line.

A brush that is too hard-bristled will push the gum line up and create wear on your teeth. Instead, choose a soft-bristled brush.

Your orthodontist may recommend a brush with longer bristles in a V-shape. These brushes are perfect for use on teeth with braces. Always go with your orthodontist’s recommendation.

3. Perfect the Motion

Most of us brush our teeth the wrong way to speed up the process. We take long broad strokes across our teeth so that it takes less time. This not only won’t clean your teeth, but it’ll damage your gums.

Instead, take short horizontal strokes across each tooth. You want to be gentle when brushing near the gums. Small, short, and circular motions are best.

Make sure you brush the front, back, and chewing surface of the teeth. Especially the back of your molars and rear gums. With braces, the brushing process needs to slow down.

4. Fluoride Toothpaste

You should avoid whitening toothpaste while you have braces. Since the braces get cemented down to your teeth, whitening products won’t reach under the cement. When your braces finally get removed, the area under them will be one colour, and the exposed areas whiter.

Choose a toothpaste that has fluoride in the ingredients. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and prevents cavities.

Sodium-fluoride gel toothpaste is best for brushing with braces. This gel soaks into the teeth and gets in all the crevices around the braces. It kills bacteria and rebuilds the minerals destroyed by acid damage.

5. Flossing Tools

Having braces doesn’t mean you get to skip flossing. It just means you need to learn a new way of flossing.

Your orthodontist likely gave you a little archwire to thread floss through. Make sure you push the archwire and floss through each section of braces. You need to floss both sides of every tooth.

If you haven’t flossed in a while, you may notice some blood come from your gums when flossing. While this is a bad sign, it should go away once you’re in the routine of flossing.

You don’t have to floss every time you brush. It’s okay to do it once daily, at the end of your night when you won’t be eating any more food.

6. Don’t Over-Brush

If you brush too often or too vigorously, you can cause toothbrush abrasion. Your gums begin to recede, and you develop tooth sensitivity.

When your gums are pushed back, there’s more opportunity for bacteria to infect the teeth. You may get tooth decay or periodontal disease.

Notice how hard you grip the brush when brushing. You should be able to brush effectively when holding it with only your thumb and index finger.

7. Regular Dental Cleanings

The dental hygienist can clean areas of your teeth that you can’t reach from home. They also use products and cleaners only available at the office.

Make sure you keep up with your regular cleanings, especially while you have braces. The hygienist can assess your teeth and gums. They’ll tell you if you need to be brushing more or less, or if you need a new technique.

Many dentists also give out the supplies you need for brushing with braces. They’ll give you a proper toothbrush, flossing tools, floss, and toothpaste. If you go regularly, you’ll be able to replace your tools for free.

8. Use Mouthwash

Braces can irritate the gums and flesh of the mouth. They also trap bacteria under the metal. Besides brushing and flossing, rinsing is a crucial part of your routine.

After every brushing session, rinse your mouth with mouthwash. Your orthodontist or hygienist might recommend a brand that’s best for braces. There are also some brands that are better for sensitive teeth and taste buds.

Rinsing your mouth allows any inflammation from the braces to heal. It also keeps the bacteria count at bay. Many recommended types of mouthwash contain fluoride which protects tooth enamel.

Want More Tips for Brushing with Braces?

Braces are both a blessing and a curse. They give you straight teeth, but they also make it harder to keep your teeth clean.

Brushing with braces takes some time to learn the tricks and techniques, but it’s worth it. When your braces come off, you’ll have a perfect smile with healthy teeth and gums. Remember to brush, floss, rinse and get regular checkups with a dental hygienist.

Want more information on dental care while having braces? Check out the blog for tips, tricks, and techniques for awesome dental hygiene.

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Last Updated: 7th November 2018 - 11:26 am

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