Any person going through orthodontic treatment can tell you about the extra difficulty in maintaining proper oral health and how appliances are a big part of that. However, it’s also important to know how worth it is to make the extra effort.
Lack of proper cleaning can lead to bacteria buildup which in turn leads to a variety of problems such as tooth decay, gum infections, sensitive teeth, cavities, etc. Not only are these problems avoidable with health tips that we will be giving you later on, but they are also an extra issue to deal with. The last thing you want to do after having braces for years is to start another orthodontic process. To avoid this, don’t forget to take your cleaning routine seriously and listen to your orthodontist’s advice.
How to Properly Brush My Teeth With Braces?
It is clear that brushing properly with braces on is a much bigger challenge than brushing without any kind of appliance, every little space created by the braces is the perfect spot for bacteria and food to hide. To eliminate as much residue as possible any patient should brush their teeth at least three times a day if not after every meal. We know that that last one is almost impossible to comply in a day-to-day basis, but you should try nonetheless.
To brush your teeth properly you should at least take 2 minutes of your time to dedicate yourself completely to the activity, when possible, use a stopwatch to make sure you’re not cutting corners. Divide your mouth into 4 sections and spend at least 30 seconds on each, focusing on one tooth at a time.
Don’t apply too much pressure with your toothbrush as you can end up damaging your braces. Make sure to get the front, sides, and back of every tooth. To clean the space between the bracket and your teeth tilt your brush at a 45° angle for both the top and the lower side. If you still have trouble getting to the little crevices you can use an interdental toothbrush, it will make it much easier to clean those hard spots.
Do I Have to Floss?
Yes, it is incredibly important to floss if you want to have clean teeth with braces. Flossing, with or without orthodontics, is incredibly useful in removing food residue from the sides of our teeth, whereas normal toothbrushes can’t reach that area very well. So even though it is considerably harder, you have to floss while you have braces on.
Thankfully now a day there is a variety of different products to help us floss our teeth properly. You could try out a floss threader or a floss pick and see how much it helps you in your routine. If you are willing to go a little further, you can buy a water flosser, just remember that it’s not a replacement for regular floss.
What Is the Best Toothbrush for Braces?
There is no definitive toothbrush for cleaning your braces. Given that in order to clean the outside layer of your tooth properly the bristles will inevitably hit the gums, the only thing you really need is a soft-bristled toothbrush. Using a harsher toothbrush could cause irritation in the area.
Electric toothbrushes are also an option because of their features such as 3D tracking to make sure you cover all areas in your mouth. But a normal toothbrush will work great as well. Sometimes a V shapes toothbrush is recommended, this kind of toothbrush has bristles shorter in the middle to make reaching difficult spots easier.
What Can I Eat With Braces?
Although there are quite a few restrictions when it comes to foods while having braces, there are also tons of options available for you. Everything that is not hard or sticky food is good to go, this includes soups, bread, mashed potato, fruits as long as it is cut into small pieces, yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, etc.
You can also have sweets like pancakes and ice cream as long as you brush your teeth after the fact. Everything containing sugar can harm your teeth as it reacts with bacteria and eats the outer layer of your teeth, the enamel. Given that cleaning is trickier than before try to limit its consumption.
Tips for Better Oral Hygiene With Braces
To keep good oral hygiene while wearing braces, it’s incredibly important to build a routine. Get used to brushing at least 3 times a day with floss and mouthwash, once a few weeks have passed it won’t feel like a chore anymore.
A great tip to keep in mind is taking a travel-size mouthwash with you everywhere. Given that it is almost impossible to brush completely after every meal you can use the mouth wash instead. Rinsing the food out after every meal will help a lot in preventing plaque.
Get yourself a toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride, as it will help in eliminating bacteria and keeping your teeth’s enamel strong.