Did you know if you're wearing braces you are more likely to develop a build-up of plaque that could lead to cavities? In this post, our Richmond Hill dentists offer some tips and advice on how to keep your braces clean.
Modern orthodontic technology has evolved to produce braces that are far more efficient, not to mention lighter and smaller than they were in the past. Wires these days are thinner and more flexible and dental brackets have multiple style and colour options. Though one thing remains the same: diligent oral hygiene is essential for a successful treatment!
Here, our Richmond Hill dentists explain the best tools and techniques to use to keep your mouth clean while wearing braces.
Keeping Your Braces Clean: The Tools
When it comes to toothbrush selection you have a few options.
You can use a regular toothbrush but adjust the way you brush your teeth by angling your brush for maximum effectiveness. This enables the removal of plaque around each bracket or underwires.
Or, you can get a toothbrush that is designed for people wearing braces. These toothbrushes with V-shaped bristles make cleaning brackets much easier. There are also several electric toothbrush options on the market that can make it easier to get to those hard-to-reach places.
Whichever toothbrush you use, make sure you use it regularly.
Flossing is crucial for maintaining the health of your oral system. When you’re wearing braces, it’s even more critical because braces highly constrain toothbrushes from reaching the spaces between your teeth.
If you’re finding it difficult to floss, some simple tools make it easier for you. Floss threaders and interproximal (interdental) toothbrushes are examples of these tools. In various sizes, interproximal brushes can clean the space between your teeth where ordinary toothbrushes can rarely reach.
To brush teeth effectively, there are some essential pointers you should keep in mind:
Brush As Much As You Can
You should brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least two times each day. The duration for brushing should be 2 minutes each time.
Especially when you are wearing braces, it’s recommended you brush after every meal and sugary drink. This is because food remains stuck to your braces and provides nourishment for the bacteria residing in plaque. When plaque builds up it erodes your enamel and can cause a gum infection called gingivitis. Thankfully, this can be prevented through regular cleaning after meals.
Brush As Thoroughly As You Can
Pay special attention to every individual tooth and don’t forget to brush all the tooth surfaces. This includes the front, the back, and the chewing surfaces. Be especially careful when cleaning the areas around brackets and wires; those are desirable places where food particles lodge.
Brush On The Go
Don’t forget to brush even if you’re not in the house. To use when you’re not at home, make a handy cleaning kit containing a brush, some floss, and toothpaste. This will let you brush whenever you need to, wherever you are.
Watch What You Eat
Avoid sticky treats like caramels, licorice, and chewy candies. These food items will stick to braces and make it difficult to clean your braces properly. Ask your dentist for a full list of foods you should avoid while undergoing orthodontic treatment—and don't forget to visit us for regular professional dental cleanings!