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When you have fixed metal braces, keeping them clean is extremely important. Braces can often act as a barrier between you and your teeth, so ensuring that they are clean is important for both your oral health and maintaining the care of your braces.
As a teenager, having fixed metal braces fitted can present some new challenges to your dental hygiene regime, so it is essential that your teenager applies some extra steps and effort into their overall dental hygiene. By cleaning their braces and looking after their oral health, when the braces are removed, they will be left with a beautiful, straight smile.
Taking care of and cleaning fixed braces as a teenager is relatively easy, once you have the top tips and know-how, so here are some top tips for your teenager to add to their oral health regime.
When cleaning braces, the right toothbrush is imperative to creating an excellent oral hygiene routine. When you have braces fitted, your teenager may notice that keeping their teeth looking and feeling clean is a bit more difficult. Food and debris can often get trapped and build up around the braces and in small gaps between the teeth, which can be harder to reach with braces in the way.
The toothbrush they were using prior to getting braces fitted is likely not going to be suitable anymore and, whilst a standard toothbrush will work, there are some better options. An electric toothbrush is a good option as it can clean both the braces and teeth with varying amounts of pressure. There are also some toothbrushes that are made specifically for cleaning braces.
As a teenager, having fixed braces whilst at school or college can cause them to be more self-conscious with their appearance, especially after eating. Having a tool for cleaning braces and teeth whilst on the go can make a huge difference and interdental brushes are great little brushes that can be easily stored in a bag and used discreetly. They can bend and adjust to get in even the smallest of gaps and remove any trapped food that can make teenagers feel self-conscious when smiling. It might also be worth having a small toothbrush and toothpaste kit to hand that can be easily used when out and about and freshen up their smile.
When teenagers have braces fitted, it’s important that they watch what they eat to avoid causing damage to the fittings. They should try to avoid eating hard, crunchy and chewy foods such as apples, bagels, corn on the cob, popcorn and nuts, as these can put extra pressure on braces and can cause the brackets or wires to break, which can then cause discomfort.
When it comes to eating crunchy foods, your teenager should either avoid them or try to cut them into small and bite-sized pieces. Even soft foods such as bread, pasta, rice and cake can cause issues with brace cleanliness, with soft, sticky debris getting stuck in the gap between the tooth and brace. Improving their dental hygiene routine can prevent this from happening, which can then reduce their risk of developing tooth decay in the future.
Whilst braces are made from strong and sturdy materials, it’s important that your teenager uses care when cleaning braces. Bristles that are too hard, or if their brushing technique is too vigorous, can loosen or even snap a bracket. When your teenager is brushing their teeth, make sure that they are not using too much pressure and are gentle.
Flossing with braces can seem impossible, as wires can obstruct the gaps in between your teeth. However, it is important that your teenager flosses when cleaning braces. There are some different ways you can floss and get between the gaps in teeth, but it might take them a little more time and care, but flossing is well worth the effort if they want to keep their teeth and braces clean.
Floss picks, which are very small pieces of floss on the end of a plastic stick, are very easy to use and can get in between your teeth. Water flossing is also a good option for teenagers with braces, as it is the easiest option. Water flossers push water through the gaps between teeth and can quickly and easily remove plaque and food particles.
For more information on our teen orthodontic treatments, please contact us at Dental Solutions today!