You just got braces, and you’re wondering “How am I going to keep my teeth clean with metal brackets glued onto my teeth?” Although keeping your braces clean does require a few extra steps, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think. Just follow these tips and tricks and you’ll be on your way to clean teeth and braces!
Brushing Your Teeth
As basic as this step sounds, it is the most important step to oral dental health with or without braces. It is a good idea to get a new toothbrush when you begin your journey with braces, as your cleaning needs have slightly shifted. When selecting the toothbrush that is right for you during your orthodontic treatment, dentists often recommend either soft bristled toothbrushes or electric toothbrushes.
When brushing your teeth, you want to make sure your toothbrush is reaching in between each bracket, as well as above and below. Plaque can quickly build up in these areas if they are not properly brushes daily. For those hard to reach spaces, DenTek offers a slim brush that helps you easily clean between each bracket.
If possible, it is recommended to brush your teeth after each meal to ensure that no food is getting left in your braces for an extended period of time. To properly brush your teeth, remember to clean around each bracket as well as your gums and the back of your teeth.
Although flossing may be one of the last tasks you would like to do with braces, it is extremely important for your dental health. Food can easily build up in between your teeth when you have braces, and sometimes brushing your teeth can’t remove everything. Flossing doesn’t have to be difficult, and there are now a few different methods that can make the process easier for you!
Floss Threads– These thin pieces of plastic work similarly to how a needle and thread work. You simply thread your floss through the loop and then “thread the needle” through each gap in your braces to floss each tooth.
Floss Pick– This is a small plastic stick that has a short piece of floss at the end. Instead of using a traditional piece of floss, you can use a floss pick which helps you easily go in and out of each tooth.
Water Flosser– This method is the quickest and easiest because it does not require any sort of reaching in between each tooth to clean. It simply pushes food out with a strong stream of water.
Brace Friendly Diet
While there is a large list of brace friendly foods, there are certain ingredients and foods that should be avoided. It is best to avoid eating foods that are highly acidic like soda, oranges, lemon, and dishes containing a lot of vinegar. Overly sticky candies like caramel should also be avoided, as they can get stuck on your braces and make it difficult to clean. Lastly, hard foods like corn on the cob and apples should be eaten with caution because biting them directly can sometimes break a bracket.
We hope these tips help you maintain a clean, healthy smile while you have your braces! If you have any questions about your oral hygiene, or think that braces might be the right choice for you, schedule a consultation with our office today!