When it comes to achieving a healthy, straight, and beautiful smile, many people opt to wear dental braces.
And, if you wear braces, it’s essential that you recognise the importance of adopting good oral hygiene habits in order to keep your braces happy, clean, and healthy, and get the best results from your orthodontic treatment.
We’ve created a helpful guide outlining the techniques you should use to make sure that your braces are always kept clean and of course, that you are always wearing a healthy smile.
From tips on brushing and flossing through to special cleaning techniques and advice, we’ve got everything covered…
How do you brush your teeth with dental braces on?
It’s a common misconception that brushing your teeth whilst wearing dental braces is a difficult task. But it needn’t be, providing you employ the right techniques.
Before attempting to brush your teeth, you should always rinse your mouth with warm water, as this will allow you to dislodge any stray food particles that have became lodged in your brace. You can also use a rubber-tipped gum massager to dislodge stubborn food particles.
Once you’ve rinsed your mouth, you can brush your teeth using a small amount of toothpaste. If you own an electric toothbrush, this will do a lot of the work for you – simply angle it above and below the brackets and allow it to rotate or vibrate in and around your braces.
Alternatively, you can use a manual toothbrush, adopting circular and vibrating motions around the braces, teeth, and gum line. And, to ensure that you give your braces a thorough clean, make sure you brush your teeth for several minutes and always remember to brush your tongue too!
Do I need to use a special toothbrush or other gadgets when I have braces?
Either a manual or an electric toothbrush clean your teeth and braces well, providing that you brush your teeth thoroughly and employ the right techniques.
But, if you’re struggling to choose between the two, an electric toothbrush will generally achieve the best results. There are a whole host of different brands available but Oral B and Sonicare tend to be great options. Of course, you can also get an orthodontic-cut toothbrush featuring bristles cut into a “V” shape.
How do I clean between my teeth with dental braces on?
It’s common for stubborn food particles to become lodged in between your braces, so it’s important that you spend the time cleaning them thoroughly.
If you struggle to clean between your teeth, you could always use a type of threader floss, an interproximal brush, or even an interdental brush such as a TePe brush.
A WaterPik can also be useful for cleaning in between your teeth, however it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for proper cleaning with floss or interproximal brushes.
How can I floss my teeth with dental braces on?
Flossing your teeth with braces on can be a little tricky at until you get used to it.
The best way to tackle stubborn food particles stuck between your braces is to carefully thread the floss under the arch wire between each tooth, as well as under the gumline. This technique should be repeated for each tooth on a daily basis.
How can I keep my braces clean after eating out or when travelling?
Just because you’re wearing braces, doesn’t mean that life comes to a halt. You’ll still be able to eat out, travel, and do all of the other daily activities you would have done before your treatment.
However, it’s essential that you are always equipped with the tools and products needed to ensure that you smile remains healthy and clean, particularly when you’re on the move.
So, if you’re a frequent traveller or enjoy eating out (let’s face it, who doesn’t?), you should always ensure that you have a small dental kit to hand in order to help maintain the cleanliness of your treatment. And it doesn’t need to be much – a kit containing a small toothbrush, interdental brushes, and small piece of floss will allow you to clean your teeth and braces whilst you’re out and about.