Cleaning your teeth while wearing braces is one of the most important parts of the experience. If you don’t remove food particles and plaque buildup, you run the risk of tooth decay, staining, and bad breath. Follow these tips for keeping your mouth clean and sparkly.
1. Brush, brush, brush!! Make sure you focus on every single tooth, especially the places where your braces and teeth meet.
2. Clean every side of your teeth. Brush the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces. Don’t forget your gum line because plaque likes to hide there.
3. Angle your brush. Brush the top teeth and braces with your toothbrush angled down, and brush the bottom teeth and braces with your toothbrush angled up. This gives the bristles access to the areas where food tends to get caught above and below your braces.
4. Brush after eating. No matter if it’s a full meal or a light snack, food can get trapped in your braces and lead to decay. The longer the food is there, the greater your risk of plaque formation. Brush after eating, or rinse your mouth with water if you can’t brush.
5. Be prepared. Bring toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you so that you can brush no matter where you are.
6. Use fluoride. Choose fluoride toothpaste and rinse with fluoride mouthwash, which will both help prevent cavities.
7. Remove the accessories. If you have headgear or elastic bands, take those off before brushing or flossing.
8. Consider options besides just dental floss. You may find it easier to use a floss threader, or Superfloss that is a combination of regular floss and threaders.
9. Get to the point. Cone-shaped brushes with pointy ends are designed to reach areas around your braces that toothbrushes can’t.
10. Don’t forget your dentist. Go for regular dental checkups to get professional, thorough cleanings.