Dentist Bel Air, MD
When you’re sporting braces, good oral hygiene is everything. If you don’t properly care for your teeth throughout, you could be in for a surprise when the braces are removed and you’re ready to show off your smile! Without diligent, proper care, bacteria and plaque can build up around the surfaces of your braces, and leave stains that become hard to remove. Be sure you can show off the smile you deserve by maintaining proper oral hygiene with braces.
Let’s take a look at a few ways you can best care for teeth with braces.
One of the biggest challenges that come with wearing braces is getting around your wires and brackets. It’s difficult to do as comprehensive of a brushing job without special tools, like an inter-dental brush. Instead of using just a toothbrush as part your daily oral care routine, add an inter-dental brush that’s specifically designed to clean between your braces. This small brush is narrow enough to fit between your brackets and wires to clean out food particles that get trapped there, which a regular toothbrush wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach.
You’ll also discover that traditional flossing is tricky to use when you have braces. That’s why you’ll want to get floss and a floss threader. Inexpensive and simple to use, you can take about a foot or a foot and a half of dental floss and pass about five inches of it through the eye of your threader needle. Then, weave the floss under your wires and in between your teeth for a deep clean. It’s as easy as that!
For your regular brushing, consider upgrading to an electric toothbrush with soft bristles. Electric toothbrushes remove 21% more plaque than regular toothbrushes, which you’re at a greater risk to acquire while wearing braces. Another simple tactic for keeping those pearly whites? Use fluoride products as much as possible, like fluoride toothpaste, fluoride-enriched drinking water, and mouthwash with fluoride. Fluoride is a great defendant against tooth decay and mouthwash is a great addition to your regular brushing routine (and it gets in all the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies).
Beyond brushing and flossing with adequate tools, you can keep your teeth healthy by choosing the right types of food to eat. For example, especially hard foods (like nuts and ice) can damage the wires and brackets of your braces. You’ll also want to avoid sticky foods like caramels, gum, and candies, which can stick to your braces and are difficult to remove with a toothbrush. Choose foods that are low in acidic content like bananas, milk, meat, eggs, and mangos as well. Especially acidic foods (like pineapples, tomatoes, vinegar, and salsa) can wear away the protective enamel of your teeth.
Lastly, be sure that you’re rinsing in between brushes. It’s best practice to brush after every meal when you have braces. However, you probably won’t always have your toothbrush handy. In those cases, do a quick rinse with warm water to get bacteria and food particles out of the mouth!
For more about proper oral hygiene both with and without braces, reach out to the dental professionals at Allegiance Dental Associates today!
Daniel Hoch, DDS
Allegiance Dental Associates
2021 A Emmorton Road, Suite 222
Bel Air, Maryland 21015