Straightening teeth with braces is a great way to provide yourself or your child with a beautiful smile and teeth that are easy to keep strong and healthy. To make sure your straighter smile turns out as healthy as possible, a good cleaning regimen is vital. While braces do present some challenges for cleaning teeth, there are ways to keep the plaque (and decay) at bay through proper brushing and flossing techniques.
At Lansdowne Orthodontics, Dr. Navin Hukmani and our team partner with patients for great oral health, which starts with straight teeth that enable easier chewing, speaking, and smiling. While the orthodontics go to work to bring your teeth into line, there’s much that you can do to make the results something to really smile about.
To that end, we’ve put together five tips for brushing and flossing with braces to help you safeguard your teeth while you straighten them.
1. Soft bristles and brushing at an angle
When you get braces, the brackets and hooks provide new places where plaque can build up, so it’s important that you clear away any remaining food particles twice a day and after meals through vigilant brushing. To start, equip yourself with a toothbrush that has soft bristles, so you don’t damage your tooth enamel and gums.
When you brush the front of your teeth, be sure to angle the toothbrush at 45 degrees to tackle the top and bottom halves of each tooth and clean around the brackets. Use gentle circular strokes, rather than a see-sawing movement, to clear away any foreign matter. You can brush the tops and backsides of your teeth gently and thoroughly.
2. Getting into tight spaces
While you’re wearing braces, a proxy brush should be one of your go-to tools for keeping your teeth clean. This small brush, which resembles a bottle cleaner, is perfect for sliding in behind the metal components of your braces to make sure all surfaces benefit from a good brushing. Use your proxy brush at least once a day, although twice a day is best.
3. Finessing your flossing technique
While flossing with braces certainly presents some challenges, some helpful tricks can allow you to more easily work around the metal components in your mouth. To start, you can use a threader, which helps you guide the dental floss behind your braces.
Once the floss is in place, you simply floss as you normally would. Make sure to run the floss in between each of your teeth and around your gums to remove any food or plaque.
4. Try a water pick
If you really want to make your life easy, invest in a water flossing device, which delivers a pressurized stream of water in between your teeth. You can use a water pick to not only clear away debris between your teeth and in your braces, but around your gum line, as well.
5. Give it a rinse
Once you’ve brushed your teeth, be sure to use a fluoride rinse afterward, which helps keep your teeth healthy and strong. A good rinse is also perfect for clearing out any debris or plaque that you’ve brushed loose and dislodging anything else that your brushing and flossing may have missed.
Rest assured, we’re with you every step of the way as we straighten your teeth through orthodontics. If you have any questions about brushing or flossing your teeth with braces, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our two offices in Leesburg and South Riding, Virginia. We’re just a phone call away.