Keeping up Oral Hygiene with Braces

Dental braces make brushing difficult because food particles and plaque can adhere to the brackets and teeth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the number of times a person with braces should brush each day varies from orthodontist to orthodontist, but it is important to brush after every meal.

1. Rinse

Before you brush, rinse with water. This can help loosen any food lodged in and around the braces. When you’re ready to brush, start by brushing at the gum line at a 45-degree angle. After brushing the gumline, place the toothbrush on top of the brackets, angling down to brush on top of each bracket. Then, reposition the toothbrush to brush the bottom of the bracket and the wire, angling the toothbrush up. Go slowly. Make sure to brush every tooth at the gum line as well as above and below the brackets. This will ensure you’ll reach the majority of the tooth’s surface and help to remove plaque and food debris. Even kids who are old enough to brush on their own may require help until they are comfortable properly angling the toothbrush and have learned how to brush their teeth with braces.

2. Wash Your Brush

Make sure to wash your brush with warm water before using it. Once you wash it, the bristles off the brush become gentle hence allowing you to brush without hurting yourself.

3. Make An Angle

Hold your toothbrush to an angle while brushing your braces and teeth. Try holding it at 45 degrees. Now slowly brush the upper visible region, then the lower, the top of the braces and then move on to brushing the back of your teeth. The easiest will be to manage the back of the teeth because it contains no braces!

4. Flossing

After you’re done with brushing, then start flossing your teeth carefully with the help of a floss thread. Let the thread go through your tooth, adjust it in your hands and pull back and forth calmly and slowly. Then let go from one side and let the thread come to you. Repeat this procedure with all your teeth. Yes, it takes time and can get very tiresome but remember your smile will be worth it in the end so keep on going no matter how hard it is.

5. Brush/Floss Slowly

Many of you are always in a hurry or simply like to brush their teeth faster so that they can get on with their day. If you’re wearing braces, then this can result in damaging your tooth or braces. So go slowly and easily till they are clean and don’t hurt as much.

6. Mouthwash

You can use mouthwash too but avoid using the whitening ones because once the braces are removed, chances are you’ll get an uneven color for your teeth. But brushing and flossing carefully shouldn’t cause you any problems.

Flossing

Cleaning Between Teeth

Flossing is a crucial step toward keeping teeth healthy. Use a floss threader to make flossing with braces easier. Soft picks can help brush very tight spaces. After brushing, you can help prevent cavities by rinsing with a mouthwash like Colgate Total Advanced Health, which removes 24x more bacteria for a healthier mouth.

Taking care of teeth with braces requires diligence. Kids in braces don’t always have the discipline they need to care for their teeth, so it’s important for parents to encourage and help with tooth care. And, even with braces on, kids should see their dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups.

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