7 Steps To Brushing With Braces
Here are our top tips to make sure your teeth stay in tip top condition while you have braces.
Maintaining braces can be frustrating and, at times, may seem like it takes up too much time. But trust us – looking after your teeth and cleaning correctly while you have braces, will make the world of difference when they are removed. Regular and correct brushing avoids problems such as tooth decay, inflamed gums and decalcification of your teeth’s enamel. If you do not correctly brush your teeth, it could lead to tooth discolouration, cavities and swollen or infected gum tissue.
After the money spent and effort you’ve gone to, don’t you think looking after your braces in the best way possible will be worth it? We do! That’s why we have come up with some useful tips that you can apply to your everyday teeth cleaning regime to maximise your teeth’s full potential and keep them clean, healthy and hygienic.
7 motto’s to mutter in the mirror when you’re brushing your braces
- Brushing every day keeps the dentist away. Food particles and that sticky film of bacteria known as plaque, love sticking to the surface of teeth after a meal, and they find comfort in hiding in your braces. Gingivitis from this plaque can form in as little as 48 hours and result in foul-smelling breath. Therefore, make sure you brush your teeth and braces twice a day – after breakfast and before bedtime.
- Flossing should never be forgotten. It should already be an integral part of your daily scrubbing, but having braces requires extra flossing vigour. Be sure to floss under the arch wire and between your teeth to get to every crevice your toothbrush may have missed. Floss at the end of the day so you’re guaranteed to not miss any food particles making a home in your mouth.
- Whitening is not warranted. When you’re housing braces, forget the teeth whitening products, including whitening toothpaste, gels and mouthwashes. These products sadly only go to work on the surfaces of the teeth they touch, meaning that when you remove your braces, the place in which they sat, will be a different colour from the rest of your tooth.
- The right toothbrush will ensure there’s nothing left. Where braces are involved, a soft-bristled toothbrush is the best option for you. It prevents gum damage and wearing down of your tooth enamel as it is gentler. Interdental toothbrushes are designed specifically for braces and you can use them to clean underneath and around your braces’ wires and brackets.
- Rinse and repeat. Measure out two teaspoons of a mouthwash, gargle and swirl and then spit it out. You can rinse and repeat up to four times a day and it will reduce inflammation, prevent infection, lessen irritation and leave your mouth feeling minty fresh.
- The F word – Fluoride. It’s basic – fluoride strengthens the enamel of your teeth while simultaneously preventing damage and decay. A fluoride gel should be applied to your teeth for one minute and then spat out. Do not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after spitting it out to ensure the active ingredients kill any bacteria, and replace any minerals in tooth enamel.
- Overbrushing equals abrasion. Regular brushing is vital, but overbrushing (known as abrasion), can make your teeth sensitive and result in receding gums. Overbrushing has a few nasty allies that include worn down enamel, periodontal disease, cavities on the tooth roots and the gums being pushed back. Instead of focusing on how hard you are brushing, think of your technique and ensuring you’re getting a thorough clean.
Maintaining braces is a feat in itself but you do not need to maintain them by yourself. You orthodontist will be there to guide you every step of the way.
Orthodontist in Sydney
Dr Kerry Lester is one of Australia’s leading orthodontic specialists and can guide you on your journey to a straighter smile. Give us a call today and book your consultation.