Taking care of your teeth is important no matter what, but it’s even more crucial when you have braces. Food can get caught between braces or in the wires, increasing your risk for cavities, gum irritation, staining, and bad breath. To keep you smile healthy while wearing braces, follow these guidelines:
• Use a soft toothbrush, change your toothbrush at least every 3 months, and brush after every meal. The sooner you get rid of food trapped in your braces, the less your risk for tooth decay.
• Spend time brushing every single tooth, and make sure you brush each surface. Don’t forget the chewing surfaces and back sides of each tooth.
• Angle your toothbrush down to where the braces meet the tops of your teeth. Then angle the brush upward when you brush the bottoms of the braces and your teeth.
• Take off any removable items like rubber bands and head gear before brushing your teeth.
• Remember to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with you so that you can brush after eating if possible, even when you’re not at home.
• Make sure you use fluoride toothpaste to provide extra protection in preventing cavities.
• Having braces doesn’t give you a free pass on flossing. Even thought it’s more time consuming, the need for flossing is just as great. If you have trouble using regular dental floss, try using floss threaders to make it easier.
• Continue with your regular dentist checkups and teeth cleanings. Your dentist will be able to get to areas you may have trouble with, and remove tartar to keep your gums and teeth healthy.