While it is important to keep your teeth clean all of the time, it is especially important while you are in orthodontic treatment. The presence of appliances makes it easier for bacteria to build up on your teeth without proper care. In addition, it is possible for white spots to form around brackets if the teeth are not taken care of and cleaned well.
How to Brush and Floss with Braces
Braces, aligners and attachments can sometimes make brushing and flossing difficult. First of all, Dr. Aimee Skelton highly suggests seeing your general dentist twice a year even while in braces or aligners. Even though you see an orthodontist, you still need to have your teeth professionally cleaned and checked for cavities. Before your dental appointment, we recommend letting them know that you have braces on your teeth.
Brushing with braces is the first step toward keeping teeth clean. It is easy for food to get trapped between your brackets and wires so we suggest brushing after every meal if you can. Use a soft toothbrush to brush in circles above and below your brackets. You may notice that your toothbrush wears out faster with braces. Replace your toothbrush as soon as you see the bristles begin to fray.
Flossing with braces does take some extra time but will ensure clean teeth. Use floss threaders to thread floss through the wire and get each side of the tooth. We suggest flossing at least once per day.
Eating with Braces
Another important part of having clean teeth is eating the right foods. We recommend eating a balanced diet and avoiding any foods that could break your brackets or wires. Examples:
- Sticky Candy (Caramels, Starbursts, gum, etc.)
- Chips & Hard Pretzels
- Corn on the cob & biting into whole apples
Broken appliances could lead to food or plaque build up and might potentially delay your overall treatment time. If you have clear brackets, there are some foods that could stain them. For example:
- Tomato Sauce
Sugary drinks can also stain brackets. To help minimize staining, we suggest drinking colored liquids with a straw.
Keeping Teeth Clean
All of your hard work will be well worth it when you see your smile the day you have your braces removed! The team at Skelton Orthodontics understands that keeping your teeth clean while in orthodontic treatment takes some work and we are here to help. Call us with any questions or issues you may have.