When you get braces the journey to a winning smile will require time and patience. One of the most important parts of the process is good oral hygiene and brushing with braces is at the top of the list. Even if you’ve always been an avid tooth brusher, the process of brushing with braces will take some getting used to. But it will all be worth it in the long run when you arrive at the finish with straight, healthy teeth and a winning smile.
Remember: Brushing with Braces Takes Practice
When you first get your braces it can take a while to get used to brushing your teeth again. What was once a simple, straightforward task can be frustrating with braces. Just remember that it took a lot of practice to learn how to properly brush your teeth in the first place, so it will take some time to familiarize yourself with some new brushing habits. It may take some extra patience, but with practice you will master this new skill. Thoroughly brushing throughout the many months you have braces will help keep your teeth free of white spots and cavities after they come off.
We are always happy to help if brushing with braces ever makes you feel overwhelmed. We have information and solutions about caring for your teeth and braces to help make brushing and caring for your braces easier.
Tips for Brushing with Braces
Remove Bands & Elastics
Certain parts of your braces will be removable depending on the type of braces you have. With Invisalign the whole aligner is removable which conveniently allows for brushing your teeth like normal between wearing them. If you have braces with bands and elastics, they should be removed from the brackets before brushing. This will make it much easier to navigate a toothbrush and floss around your teeth.
While parts of your teeth are “covered” with brackets, it doesn’t make them immune to cavities. In fact, your new braces provide plenty of new hiding places for bacteria, which can lead to bad breath and cavities, so it is critical to keep your mouth clean. You’ll still need to brush back, top, and front of your teeth for the fully recommended 2 minutes. This helps clean away bacteria and reduces the possibility of developing cavities.
You Need to Brush Your Braces
Brushing with braces actually includes brushing the braces themselves. Bacteria can collect on the wires, pins and brackets so you need to brush your braces directly as well. Bacteria on the brackets or wires may not directly damage enamel from there, if you don’t brush them away they’ll eventually spread and make their way to your teeth where they can begin to do some damage.
Tips for Flossing with Braces
Flossing with braces is just as important as brushing with braces, in fact, it’s more important than ever! The areas where toothbrush bristles may not reach properly when you have braces still need to be cleaned. One tip is to use waxed floss which will help reduce the frequency of floss being torn on your braces. When floss tears and you need to constantly replace the string of floss you’re using, flossing can begin to feel tedious.
Another tip is to take the time to thread the floss around your wires. This will help you reach and clean as much of the area between your teeth as possible. This is another place bacteria like to hide – with or without braces – but brushing with braces alone won’t reach those areas like brushing and flossing together can.
Flossing can be a struggle. There are many flossing options that can help. Floss threaders which can be a loop that aids in threading the floss between your braces, or a special piece of floss with one end designed for threading between braces. There are also interdental brushes that are like a tiny mini toothbrush and designed to scrub in between your tooth and your braces. Another alternative is water flossing. Any of these options can be alternatives, or they can help supplement your flossing and brushing with braces routine.
Should You Use Mouthwash?
When you are finished flossing and brushing with braces, adding mouthwash to your daily dental care routine is something to consider. Remember that mouthwash isn’t a replacement for brushing with braces, but it’s a great way to enhance your oral hygiene routine – especially if you use mouthwash that contains fluoride. Using mouthwash with braces poses no risks and can be beneficial, so feel free to use some!
Your journey toward good oral health and a winning smile will be worth it, and brushing with braces will soon be second nature.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Do you have questions about Invisalign or orthodontic treatment? We can answer your questions to keep your teeth and gums healthy – schedule a free consultation! Contact us online or call 440-842-8015
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