You’re probably a pro at brushing your teeth without braces, but when it comes to brushing with them? You can expect a learning curve. Now that you have a set of brackets and wires that weren’t there before, you’ll need to follow these tips for brushing your teeth with braces straight from Sycamore Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry team! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about your new oral hygiene routine, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy, straight smile in no time.
Tip 1. It’s All About the Angles
Brushing your teeth with braces comes with a whole new set of rules. You’ll want to listen closely to Dr. B and Dr. Sarah when they explain how to brush around the brackets and wires, and don’t be afraid to look up videos to help get a good visual. When it comes to learning your new routine, it’s all about the angles.
To get started, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to brush both the exposed parts of your teeth, the brackets, and your gum line. You’ll need to spend about five seconds brushing each tooth or 30 seconds on each section of your mouth. That adds up to about two to three minutes of brushing time, total.
Make sure you don’t cut corners and don’t forget to brush your tongue! It is essential to brush your entire mouth to get rid of bacteria that cause plaque buildup and bad breath.
Tip 2. Remember: Water Is Your New Best Friend
Imagine eating a sandwich for your school lunch, only to visit the bathroom a half hour later to discover bread has been stuck in your teeth the whole time! That’s a nightmare no matter how old you are, but rinsing your mouth with water between brushes is going to help you keep your mouth as clean as it can be.
It’s a good idea to always keep a water bottle with you so you can rinse your mouth whenever you need to. Rinsing helps break up small food particles that might be stuck in your brackets and wires.
Another great tool for keeping your teeth clean with braces is a water flosser. There are several brands on the market, including the WaterPik, and these tools can help you get leftover food from hard-to-reach places, just like rinsing can. Instead of using traditional floss, a WaterPik uses a high-pressure stream of water that you can direct between brackets and wires to loosen up stuck food and give you a healthy smile that you can feel confident in – even after your lunch break.
Tip 3. Don’t Skip Flossing!
We know that it’s common to drop flossing from your oral health to-do list, but it’s never been more important to keep up with than it is now you have braces. However, just like brushing comes with a learning curve, so does flossing, so take notes!
Thread the dental floss through the eye of a floss threader. Then, push the head of the floss threader over or under the wire and between your teeth. Remove the threader and lay it to the side. Floss each side of your tooth in a back-and-forth motion like you normally would without braces. Pick up your floss threader and repeat this step by moving to the next tooth! If you find that tricky, just grab one of the flossers we provide to get those hard-to-reach areas.
Be sure you don’t skip flossing. It is vital to the quality of your smile that you keep up with flossing throughout your treatment. The person in the mirror on the day your braces come off will thank you for it!
Tip 4. Use Your Orthodontic Toolkit
The day you get your braces, you’ll also get a home care kit to take care of them. Make sure you hold on tight to this toolkit because it has everything you need to brush and floss your teeth with ease! We’ll include a soft-bristled toothbrush, a proxabrush, and a floss threader. Each tool plays a unique role in your oral health to clean those hard-to-reach places and be sure you’ll have a pearly white smile in no time.
Soft-Bristled Toothbrush – our team recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush to capably clean your teeth without harming the brackets. The soft bristles can better reach down between each bracket, making it easier to clean these tough-to-reach spaces.
Proxabrush – this tool looks almost like a pipe cleaner, and it works practically the same! The Proxabrush allows you to clean the spaces between brackets or wires that your toothbrush just can’t reach.
Floss Threader – like a needle, this tool helps you maneuver around the wires in your mouth to floss between your teeth without a hitch.
Not only does this kit help give you a head start toward caring for your teeth with braces, but it also teaches you which tools you’ll need throughout the time you’ll be wearing them so you can replace them as needed. If you have any questions about the contents of your home care kit, don’t hesitate to call Sycamore Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry – our team always has your back!
Tip 5. Re-Brush Often
Usually, dentists recommend brushing your teeth once in the morning and at night for the best smile possible. When it comes to brushing your teeth with braces, however, you need to brush a little more often.
Dr. B and Dr. Sarah advise their patients to brush their teeth after every meal. That is because braces add a lot of surface area to your mouth, which means more hiding places for bacteria to settle into. After a while, that hidden bacteria causes plaque buildup, leading to discoloration or even gum disease.
By brushing after every meal, you can significantly cut down the possibility of bacteria buildup. The result? A clean, white smile at the end of this orthodontic journey.
Smile More at Sycamore Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry
Getting the smile of your dreams means more than just getting braces – it means taking care of your teeth while your braces are on! Making sure you’re brushing your teeth correctly is a huge part of your treatment routine, but if you’re still unsure how our team is always ready to help our patients.
If you’re ready for us to put a smile on your face, schedule your free consultation with Dr. B or Dr. Sarah today!