Braces do amazing things for your smile, but they require a lot of hard work. For those of you who have had them, you know that brushing your teeth will…

toothbrush dental health
Photo by William Warby / CC-BY

How to Brush Your Teeth with Braces

Braces do amazing things for your smile, but they require a lot of hard work. For those of you who have had them, you know that brushing your teeth will no longer be a two-minute-long process. Plaque and food collect on the brackets and in the spaces between your teeth and the braces. Daily oral hygiene is extremely important to ensure that when the braces come off, you not only have straight teeth, but healthy and white teeth to match. Take a look at the best way to brush your teeth with braces.

Choose the Right Toothbrush

A regular toothbrush is perfectly fine to use with braces. You just need to make sure you angle it correctly to clean the brackets (more on that later). An electric toothbrush might be a better option for you. Some are made with angled brushes that can clean around the wire. However, if you are new to using an electric toothbrush, you’ll have to get used to maneuvering the tool around your mouth.

Brush Everywhere

In order to remove food that is so easily stuck in and around your braces, you really need to clean everywhere. Brush the outer side of your teeth using a soft, circular motion. Make sure you angle the brush upward and downward to clean around the braces. Then go over the inner side of your teeth (with the same circular motion), and the crowns of your molars. It’s also important to gently clean your gums, your cheeks, your tongue, underneath your tongue and the roof of your mouth. If it would be helpful to watch a demonstration, check out this video: Brushing with Braces.

Floss Everywhere

Although flossing may seem like a really difficult task to do with braces, it needs to be done regularly. You could use regular floss, Plackers (floss on a stick) or you could consider a water flosser. Watch this video for detailed instructions on how to floss your teeth with brushes: Flossing with Braces.

oral hygiene for braces

Photo by Monica Nguyen / CC-BY

Use Mouthwash

Using mouthwash will also help remove food and plaque in between your teeth and braces. Make sure you get mouthwash that specifically states it helps get rid of gingivitis.

Maintain Your Smile

On top of brushing your teeth in the morning and at night, you need to do a few more things to maintain your smile:

  • Replace your toothbrush every three months as the bristles become worn down and won’t clean your teeth as well.
  • Avoid foods that are hard to chew or will stick to your teeth. It would also be helpful to cut back on the amount of sugary foods you eat.
  • Don’t miss any appointments with your orthodontist/hygienist. They are there to help promote the health of your teeth! It’s important to choose the right orthodontist as you place your smile in their hands. Read this blog post for information on how to find the right orthodontist for you: 5 Tips to Choosing the Right Orthodontist.

Think of all the people you know whose smiles have been improved with braces. Did those changes happen overnight? Unfortunately, no. This process requires time and a lot of hard work, but the payoff is totally worth it. Follow these guidelines above and you will ensure the health and beauty of your smile long after the braces are off!

 

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