Stay Clean when Wearing Braces

Get Into the Habit

It’s important that you take good care of your teeth and gums while wearing either fixed or removable braces. Any food that becomes stuck in the wire or brackets can cause tooth decay or gum disease; and there’s no point in undergoing expensive orthodontic treatment to correct your smile if you then have to have rotten teeth removed.

Use the Right Equipment

With fixed braces you should use a regular, small toothbrush to clean the surface of your teeth and gums, but perhaps invest in a spiral-headed brush for cleaning around the brackets and the area of the teeth that are actually underneath the wire. This will ensure that you get rid of all traces of food particles. These brushes can be obtained from your dentist or large pharmacies. Make sure you brush after every meal, which may mean carrying your toothbrushes with you or keeping a spare set at work or school. You should start brushing between the brackets and gums and then move to the area of the teeth below the bracket, before finishing up with the specialist brush underneath the braces.

If you have Lingual braces that are fitted to the rear of the teeth, the process would be exactly the same. It is a good idea to floss, if you can manage it without getting tangled in your brackets and use a mouthwash at the end. Do not rinse your mouth out at this point as it is a good idea to keep some fluoride on the surface of the teeth. If you are concerned that you may not be cleaning your teeth properly, ask your dentist for help or use disclosing tablets which will show up where there is plaque in your mouth.

Remove to Clean

If you have removable aligners or are wearing a retainer, you should remove your braces for eating and for brushing your teeth. This makes the task of keeping your mouth free of plaque much easier, but you should not get complacent. Brush regularly, as well as flossing and using mouthwash, and keep your braces clean too, otherwise you may just be transferring food particles onto your teeth when you put them back in. You can use a toothbrush to clean the wires and any plastic parts of your braces and rinse them well under a running tap. Whichever types of braces you have, you should attend your own dentist regularly, alongside appointments with your orthodontist. This will help keep your dental hygiene up to scratch as well as tracking any potential problems with your teeth or gums.