Practicing good oral hygiene when you are having orthodontic treatment is a wise investment in your time and energy. You want to make sure that food particles are removed from the brackets and wires as well as between teeth.
Keeping plaque away from brackets can prevent decalcification (those white spots) from appearing on your teeth. Plaque accumulation around braces hardware can lead to gum disease, complete with swollen, inflamed gum tissue, not to mention cavities.
To brush your teeth and hardware, first remove any removable parts (bands, elastics) from the braces. Next, rinse your mouth to get rid of food particles, and brush around the braces with a soft-bristled toothbrush (gently). Clean the wires by moving move from top to bottom, then around the teeth.
You want to brush at least twice a day for two minutes. Be sure to clean all tooth surfaces: tops, bottoms, inside and back side of each tooth. Get rid of all food particles, and rinse well. Some patients find using an electric toothbrush can clean your teeth easily and effectively.
When it comes to flossing, you will want to do it at least once a day. The key is finding a flossing method you like using, and then using it. There are waxed flosses that don’t shred in brace hardware, dental tape, self-threaded flossers, and interdental flossers made specifically for cleaning around braces. You want to floss gently to avoid damaging any parts. Clean under the main wire, next, pass it between two teeth, sliding up and down carefully. Then, take it out and move on to the next two teeth and wires.
Some of our patients like using a water flosser to clean between teeth and around braces hardware. These flossers can clean up to 3X as well as normal flossers. They often have an orthodontic tip specifically to clean around braces; a tapered brush that clears hard-to-reach plaque around brackets, wires, etc.
To find out more, you can always call Ramsay Orthodontics in Austin, Texas at 512-346-1384. Our orthodontist, Dr. Stephan Ramsay and our team are here to support your oral health in braces!