Your journey to orthodontic success requires more than periodic adjustments and patience; it demands a commitment to meticulous dental hygiene. For effective oral hygiene when you have braces, you’ll need to navigate the best ways to brush and floss, along with methods to address common concerns.
Tips for Effective Oral Hygiene with Braces
Practice Proper Brushing
Use a soft-bristled brush and brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to clean both the brackets and the teeth. Angle the brush upwards to reach the areas between the wire and the teeth.
Attend Orthodontic Adjustments
Attend all scheduled orthodontic appointments to ensure your braces are working effectively and that any necessary corrections are made promptly.
Maintain Regular Dental Checkups
Maintain your regular dental checkups, typically every six months, for a professional cleaning and examination. Your orthodontist or dentist may recommend more frequent visits while you have braces.
Watch your Diet
What you eat can damage your braces. Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can break brackets or bend wires. Cut food into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated encourages saliva production, which naturally cleanses the mouth of harmful bacteria and prevents plaque buildup.
Tools for Managing Oral Care with Braces
Consider using interdental brushes. These are small brushes used to clean between the wires and brackets to reach areas traditional toothbrushes might miss. This will help remove plaque and food particles effectively.
Incorporate floss threaders or orthodontic floss to navigate around wires and brackets to help prevent plaque accumulation between teeth and under the wires.
Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to strengthen tooth enamel and help prevent cavities. Incorporate this into your daily oral care routine.
Keep orthodontic wax on hand to create a protective barrier and alleviate irritation caused by protruding wires or rough edges on your braces.
Issues from Neglected Oral Care When Wearing Braces
Neglecting proper oral care while wearing braces can lead to a range of issues that can affect both your oral health and the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment.
Increased Risk of Cavities and Tooth Decay
The brackets and wires of braces create intricate spaces where plaque can quickly accumulate. If not diligently removed through regular and thorough oral hygiene practices, the plaque can build up and erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
The challenge lies in effectively cleaning the hard-to-reach areas between the wires and brackets, as traditional flossing methods may be insufficient. Without proper hygiene, gingivitis or more severe gum issues can arise.
Stains can develop around the brackets, creating aesthetic concerns that may persist even after removing your braces. Try to avoid heavily-pigmented foods and beverages, and maintain a disciplined brushing routing.
Protruding wires or rough edges with the braces themselves can cause discomfort or irritation, leading to sore spots or ulcers in the mouth.
Eating hard, sticky or chewy foods can damage braces, requiring unscheduled orthodontic appointments for repairs and disruptions to the treatment process.
By incorporating the methods and tools in this post into your daily routing, you are ready to overcome the unique challenges posed by wearing braces. Your investment in oral hygiene will yield dividends with a radiant, well-aligned smile in the future.
Effective Oral Hygiene Care with Advanced Family Dentistry
Dr. Sonny Kim and his team at Advanced Family Dentistry in Reston, VA can guide you on effective techniques for good oral hygiene when you’re wearing braces. Their expertise provides tailored guidance and practical advice for those undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Contact Advanced Family Dentistry
Having braces requires subtle changes in your normal oral hygiene routines. If you have questions about getting braces, or have braces and need a family dentist, contact Advanced Family Dentistry at 703-390-9191 to schedule an appointment. We’re taking new patients!
As an alternative to traditional braces, ask us about our Invisalign® Teeth Straightening services.
Dr. Sonny Kim is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the highest education level for general dentists in this field.