Brushing your teeth while wearing braces is just as important, if not more important, than brushing your teeth when you don’t have braces.
If you have braces, you cannot simply brush your teeth like you always have because even the best toothbrush will not be able to thoroughly clean around the brackets and wires. Also, if you have braces, you have to be careful of your brackets and wires while brushing. If you’re not careful, you can actually dislodge a wire or damage a bracket.
Helpful Tips for Brushing Your Teeth While Wearing Braces
Brushing your teeth thoroughly at least every morning and night is the best way to prevent cavities and other complications while wearing braces. The American Dental Association advises brushing after every meal. Here are seven important tips to help make sure that you keep your teeth clean while wearing braces:
- Find the right toothbrush – If you wear braces, a toothbrush with soft bristles is the better choice than stiffer bristles. The stiffer bristles are more likely to bend a wire or break a bracket off a tooth. A softer toothbrush is better at molding around your brackets for better cleaning.
- Rinse first – Start by rinsing your mouth out with water. This will help to get some of the loose food particles out.
- Start brushing without toothpaste – The foaming action of toothpaste can obscure your view of your teeth and the brackets, so it will be difficult to see if everything is clean. Start off without toothpaste and clean around the brackets. Then, add a bit of toothpaste and go over your teeth again.
- Pick, don’t scrub – When removing debris or plaque from around a wire or bracket, it is important not to scrub. Picking is less likely to damage the bracket and is usually more effective when it comes to removing debris that can build up around our brackets and teeth. Picking is especially important when it comes to cleaning underwires.
- Take enough time to brush thoroughly – You need to spend at least two minutes cleaning your teeth, especially when you have braces. Dedicate thirty seconds to each quarter of your mouth. If needed, set a timer to train yourself to brush a full two minutes.
- Use the right toothpaste – The right brand of toothpaste for you is one that you’ll actually use. As long as the toothpaste has fluoride, it will work perfectly as long as you brush for a full two minutes.
- Avoid using whitening products when you have braces – Do not use whitening toothpaste or whitening mouthwash when wearing braces. If you do, the whitening product will only work on the surfaces it touches (not under the brackets), so you’ll have uneven tooth color when your braces get removed.
To learn more about braces, contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation. Wright Orthodontics has two convenient locations to serve you in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia. As always, your initial consultation at Wright Orthodontics is offered free of charge with no hidden fees.