Many people need braces in life to correct and straighten teeth, but during this process, it can be difficult to keep your teeth clean. This is a result of braces collecting plaque and bacteria independently of your teeth. Carefully using a toothbrush to thoroughly brush your teeth and braces is the only way to guarantee complete cleanliness.
If you are ever struggling with how to clean your braces, then simply follow these steps in order to get clean teeth and braces.
If you are unsure of how to clean your braces, then it is important to ask the advice of your dentist or dental hygienist. Though a normal toothbrush is important, you may also want to invest in specialist interdental brushes such as Tepes. These will help you to clean thoroughly between the teeth.
To ensure you reach all of your mouth, you should concentrate on one area at a time. Whether you split this up into the top, bottom, back or front teeth is down to preference. Your brush should always stay in contact with your teeth and gum line, performing repetitive short strokes in order to achieve the best clean. This should be particularly aimed at the surface around and in-between your braces, where plaque can build up more easily.
Overall, you should be cleaning your braces and teeth at least three times a day. Always be sure to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth as well. If you experience inflamed gums or a small amount of bleeding then do not be alarmed, braces can cause this.
Braces can also make your teeth sensitive, so you may want to use a toothpaste specifically formulated to minimise this sensitivity.
Outside of brushing your teeth and braces, you can help clean your braces via flossing. Each time you brush your teeth you need to floss as well.
Typically, 18 inches is a good amount of floss to effectively clean your teeth. Wrap it around your middle fingers on both hands, holding it firmly in place with your thumbs and forefingers. Gently feed the floss between your teeth, then through the wire of your braces as you go up towards the gum. A gentle sawing motion should then be used.
If this proves difficult, you can always use small floss brushes such as Tepes or other interdental brushes instead. Water flossing can also be an option if you are adverse to the traditional method, or your dentist recommends it.
Healthy foods are absolutely necessary in order to keep your teeth clean, as well as helping you to clean your braces easily. Balanced meals with limited snacks in between is typically ideal. In particular, cooked meats, bread, soft cheeses, noodles and pasta, will not be hard to eat with your braces.
There are also a few foods that you need to avoid. This includes popcorn, nuts, hard sweets, ice and any other sticky foods (such as caramel). It can be difficult to work out how to clean your braces once these foods become lodged. Sugary drinks and juice should also be avoided, as they can contribute to tooth decay. Cutting down the frequency that you enjoy sugary snacks is really important to the success of orthodontic treatments.
Overall, brushing your teeth is important every day but even more so with braces. Learning how to clean your braces is important to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout the orthodontic process.