Brushing Your Teeth With Braces
Braces don’t just look awkward—they often feel awkward, too: Though they are sometimes necessary to ensure an aligned bite and beautiful smile, they can make routine tooth care difficult, particularly for young children.
Taking extra care when brushing with braces is, however, essential as food particles can easily adhere to the brackets, leading to plaque formation on the teeth and a high risk of cavities. If you have braces, here’s what you need to know.
How To Brush Your Teeth With Braces
- Brush after every meal. This will remove food particles before they have a chance to work their way deep behind one’s braces.
- Rinse with water before brushing so as to loosen any food particles stuck in and around the braces.
- Use a dentist-approved fluoride toothpaste and begin by brushing at the gumline at a 45-degree angle, then place the toothbrush on top of the brackets, brushing at a downward angle to remove food trapped behind the brackets. After this, brush under the brackets and wire at an upward angle, working slowly and thoroughly. Give a final brush along the gumline.
- Floss. Though flossing around braces is challenging, it must be done; use a floss threader and a soft pick to make flossing with braces easier.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. Make sure to “swish” the mouthwash aggressively around the mouth for a full minute in order to dislodge any stubborn food particles that still remain after brushing.
In addition to following proper brushing technique, it’s essential that people with braces visit their dentist twice a year for professional cleanings. These cleanings will remove any plaque buildup that has not been caught by regular brushing and help to prevent cavity formation.