If you currently have braces, then you are well on your way to having an amazing smile. While your dentist and orthodontist may use the latest methods and technology to set you up for success, it is up to you to do your part at home. And, that means brushing, flossing, and otherwise caring for your teeth - and your braces.
All this effort won’t be very fruitful, though, if you don’t know how to brush your teeth with braces. So, we have put together some of the best ways to care for your teeth while wearing your braces.
When You Should Brush
Brushing your teeth is crucial in maintaining a healthy mouth. When you have braces, there are so many places for food particles and bacteria to hide. If you don’t brush and care for your teeth regularly, you may find yourself facing gum disease, tooth decay, or even the loss of teeth.
When should you brush your teeth so you don’t have to worry about any issues? Three to four times per day greatly reduces your risk of unwanted particles accumulating in and around your teeth and braces.
You should brush:
- After you eat breakfast
- After lunch if possible - or else after school
- After dinner
- Before bed
Tips for Brushing with Braces
Are you wondering how you are supposed to brush around all the metal in your mouth? Maybe your orthodontist tried explaining how easy it is to do. Or, maybe you are feeling like you just aren’t 100% sure you are doing it how you should be. Here are the steps to thoroughly brush your teeth with braces.
Rinse Your Mouth
First things first - rinse your mouth. This will release many of the food particles that have found their way into all the crevices in your mouth. This simple step can help keep trapped debris from staying for the long haul -- and kick off your healthy oral hygiene regimen. On a side note, it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all if you wanted to periodically rinse your mouth out throughout the day - especially after each time you eat.
Brush Your Teeth
The next step would be to brush your teeth. Start with the gum line at a 45-degree angle. Doing so will keep them stimulated, clean, and healthy. Be gentle and consistent so as not to cause any irritation.
Next, move on to your actual teeth with the metal brackets. Because food, debris, germs, and bacteria can make their way into the crevices of the brackets, you want to make sure that you brush each one thoroughly.
As you brush, take your time and be gentle. You want to make sure you have everything clean and fresh -- without being too aggressive or causing harm to the hardware in your mouth.
How to Floss with Braces
Flossing may seem impossible with braces, but it is still a very necessary part of maintaining a healthy mouth. Again, you will want to take your time so as not to disrupt your braces. Using a waxed floss (which is less likely to tangle in your braces), thread it under the main wire and then pass it through two teeth. Repeat this step all the way around your mouth.
Many people find that a water flosser or Waterpik works much easier for keeping your teeth free from plaque and buildup while wearing braces.
Talk to your dental team if you have any questions about flossing. However you choose to floss your teeth, the important part is to keep practicing. It will get easier.
Learn More About Caring for Your Braces at Hass Family Orthodontics
At Hass Family Orthodontics, we know just how important it is to maintain a high level of oral hygiene while wearing braces. We also understand that it can be like learning how to brush and floss all over again.