Straightening your teeth and aligning your bite in braces is an important time in your oral health journey. It’s easy for oral debris to get stuck in brackets and wires, promoting plaque formation. When this happens, and plaque builds up around brackets, you may find yourself with decalcification of tooth enamel (white spots). Over time, this can lead to swollen and inflamed gums and cavities.
Avoiding this means brushing and flossing every day. Rinse your mouth well after eating, and when you are ready to clean, remove the remove bands or elastic.
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, clean gently around your braces, brushing the wires from top to bottom, and around the teeth and gumline areas. Brush twice a day, cleaning all surface areas of the tooth, top, bottom, front and back, and rinse well. If you have a hard time using a manual toothbrush, consider using an electric toothbrush. Many have found these easier to work with.
Use a flosser that you find easy to work with and use it every day! There are waxed flossers, dental tape, self-threaded flossers, and interdental flossers designed to clean around braces. Floss gently, to protect your hardware. Clean beneath the main wire, and clean between two teeth, sliding up and down carefully. Repeat for every tooth.
If you have trouble flossing, an oral irrigator may help you. They are also 3X as effective as regular flossers and come with an orthodontic tip for cleaning around braces that cleans the hard-to-reach plaque around the hardware.
Take good care of your teeth and gums while wearing braces, and you will have a healthy, beautiful smile when they come off! For more information, please call A Winning Smile Orthodontics in Worthington, OH, at 614-888-8070. Our orthodontist, Dr. McDevitt, and our team are excited to assist you on your journey to an aligned smile!