It’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene when wearing braces to prevent food debris and bacterial plaque from accumulating on your braces and teeth. Wires and brackets of braces make brushing and flossing tricky due to how fragile they are, with common problems including broken or loose brackets, and snapped wires that may start to protrude. This is typically caused by chewing hard or sticky foods.

Facial injuries can damage your braces as well as your mouth, while nail biting and chewing a pencil or pen can also cause significant damage. To achieve the best outcome from your orthodontic treatment, be sure to remember these 5 things while wearing braces.

Brush Regularly And Carefully

Wearing braces demand a stricter routine of regular brushing. The longer bacteria stays trapped in your teeth and braces, the greater the risk of problems such as tooth decay, staining and gum infections. If you wear braces, be sure to rinse your mouth with water and to brush your teeth after every meal, in order to loosen any food particles stuck in and around your braces.

When brushing while wearing braces, use fluoridated toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush to clean each tooth at the gum line, and above and below the brackets. Place the brush head above the brackets and angle it downwards to clean the uppers of each one. Following this, change your brush position to the bottom of each bracket and clean by angling upwards. Be sure to finish by rinsing your mouth with antiseptic or antibacterial mouthwash containing fluoride. If you can’t brush your teeth after eating, rinse your mouth with water and drink plenty of water to flush away food particles.

Regular brushing is important, however, it is important to bear in mind that over brushing can lead to sensitive teeth and gum recession, so it’s vital to remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, to avoid causing any damage to your teeth and gums.

Floss Correctly

Braces can make brushing harder, so it can be even more important to floss. The proper technique for flossing when wearing braces will help prevent issues such as cavities, gum inflammation, as well as bad breath. Be sure to floss at least once a day and get beneath wires and between brackets.

Waxed floss (“superfloss”) can glide between your teeth easily, while unwaxed floss is much more likely to catch on the braces, resulting in floss shredding. Alternatively, an interdental brush may be a better option if you have any pronounced gaps between your teeth, while an oral irrigator can clean difficult-to-reach areas.

Be sure not to rush flossing as it can take up to three times longer with braces, and to floss just before you go to sleep, to remove any food debris and help break down any remaining build-up of plaque.

Get Professional Cleanings Done Regularly

Brushing and flossing properly can help maintain your teeth when having braces, but their brackets, wires and bands make it impossible to remove plaque, stain and tartar that accumulates on your teeth. Professional cleanings can help prevent the onset of gingivitis and demineralisation of teeth around the brackets, where most of the plaque can tend to stick.

Be sure to schedule a cleaning appointment with your dentist every 6 months (and in some cases every 3 months depending on risk) to prevent oral problems.

Apply Toothmousse

Toothmousse is a calcium and phosphate supplement, it has been purposely formulated to add mineral back onto your teeth. Toothmousse has been known to reverse white spot lesions which are those unsightly white areas around brackets when they are not cleaned effectively. To prevent the formation of white spot lesions (early decay), brush well around the brackets and apply a thin layer of toothmousse around the brackets twice daily. TOoth mousse is available at your local pharmacist/chemist, it is also available at Blackburn Family dental care.

When wearing aligners, after a brush, leave your aligners out for a few minutes to coat the teeth with saliva before placing toothmousse and the aligners on. Tooth mousse works best when mixed with saliva.

Avoid Skipping Orthodontist Appointments

Your treatment is a unique partnership between yourself and your orthodontist/dentist, so it’s vital to stick to the specifically designed treatment. Positive results for your orthodontic teeth straightening treatment will be measured within a certain timeframe, so any necessary adjustments will be made by your orthodontist, to avoid prolonging your treatment. If adjustments are delayed, your treatment will be affected and expected results will not be met. Be sure to follow the instructions and advice provided by your orthodontist, in order to get the most out of your orthodontic care.

Avoid Certain Drinks

It’s vital to protect your teeth from a sugar overload when wearing braces as it can damage both your braces and teeth. Sugary, acidic and carbonated drinks can weaken the adhesive attaching brackets of your braces to your teeth. They can also increase the risk of a bracket popping out and allow bacteria to get underneath the bracket and start creating a cavity. Carbonated drinks and fruit juices are often high in sugar and can be acidic which can significantly weaken tooth enamel. Be sure to go for water and plain milk instead.

If you wear removable Invisalign aligners, it’s important to remember to take them out whenever you have a sugary drink. These sugars can get inside the aligner and bathe your teeth in sugar and acid, so it’s recommended to also cut back on any sugary foods such as cake and ice cream.

Our Blackburn Family Dental Clinic orthodontists are dedicated in providing patients with beautiful and confident smiles. For the best in braces or invisible teeth straightening services, contact us today and find out more about what our friendly and caring dentists can do for you.