Getting braces is an exciting journey with a great outcome: the straightest, shiniest, happiest smile you’ve ever had! Sometimes, however, improper brushing during treatment gets in the way of that shiny smile you’ve been dreaming about. While we work together to craft your smile, our team at Feil Orthodontics always has our eyes on that end goal. When the day finally comes – removal day, that is – we want to be sure you are happy with the results.
Everyone knows how important brushing your teeth is. After all, we’ve been learning about the best way to brush since we grew our first tooth! What everyone doesn’t know is that getting braces comes with a huge learning curve, and when it comes to brushing your teeth with braces, you may have more than a few questions. Luckily, Feil Orthodontics has put together the ultimate list of tips for brushing with braces, so you feel confident.
1. Brush With Care
You are probably already used to keeping up with your oral hygiene, but brushing with braces comes with its own set of rules. Because of all the additional surfaces in your mouth, our first tip is to brush your teeth carefully and mindfully.
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush in gentle circles over and around each bracket for 30 seconds in each section of your mouth. Knowing your angles is essential in this step! By holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, clean the tops and bottoms of the brackets. Don’t forget to brush the back of your teeth, tongue, and gum line as well!
2. Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal
Before your braces are applied, the general rule of thumb for brushing is morning and night. This dental routine helps prevent plaque from building up on your teeth and causing cavities. When Dr. Feil puts on your braces, though, the rules of the dental hygiene game change!
Plaque is that sticky substance that coats your teeth in between brushes. When you have braces, plaque has many more areas to hide, making it more challenging to clear away. Over time, plaque can cause cavities, tartar buildup, or even gum disease – so removing it quickly is key. Using the routine in tip #1, be sure to brush your teeth after every meal to reduce the risk of plaque buildup.
3. Use Your Home Care Kit
Feil Orthodontics will provide you with a home care kit the day we put your braces on. This kit comes with various tools to help you keep your teeth in tip-top shape, including a toothbrush, proxabrush, and floss threader. Each of these tools allows you to clean around and between each bracket and tooth.
Dr. Feil recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing. The soft bristles protect the metal on your brackets and allow you to brush your gum line without irritation. Your proxabrush is designed to scrub between brackets and underneath the wires so that you don’t have to worry about missing any sections. Some orthodontic toothbrushes even come with a proxabrush head for convenience! Your floss threader works like a needle to help you to floss beneath the wires and make sure all food particles and hidden plaque are removed.
4. Rinse Your Mouth Often
Swishing with water after meals is a great way to quickly remove leftover food particles from between your teeth in a pinch. Mouthwash is another excellent way to loosen up sticky particles while freshening your breath, too!
Rinsing your mouth as often as possible is a low-maintenance way to keep your teeth clean and white throughout your experience with braces. Removing food particles from the hard-to-reach places in your mouth is essential – you don’t want to “save your food for later”!
Water flossers are perfect tools for keeping your mouth rinsed and clean. Like regular dental floss, water flossers like the WaterPik use a steady stream of water to dislodge food particles from those hard-to-reach places in your mouth. Although they can’t replace regular dental floss, they are a perfect supplement for your rinsing routine.
5. Know Why Brushing is Important
If you have been brushing your teeth your whole life, it makes sense to wonder why you have to change your routine with braces. After all, isn’t brushing obvious? While the simple 2-minute method of brushing that your dentist taught you is the best way to manage your teeth without braces, it is only a foundation for brushing with braces. There are multiple extra steps you need to take when it comes to brushing with braces, and knowing why makes all the difference.
Typically, poor brushing isn’t very noticeable until the day your braces are taken off. We sometimes find discoloration around the area the bracket was attached when this happens. Permanent white spots may form on your teeth, causing a bleached-out look on only some parts of each tooth. Because these spots form around the bracket, it can be very apparent that they are due to poor brushing around braces. In other cases, even more noticeable brown spots are left behind.
It can be very disappointing for patients who have worn braces for years to wind up with straight but spotty teeth. That’s why our list of tips for brushing with braces is about to become your best friend!
Choose Feil Orthodontics: We’ll Make You Smile.
Above all else, finding the right orthodontist to guide you through your journey to a straighter smile is essential. At Feil Orthodontics, we look beyond the braces and see the person behind them. Let us walk you through life’s milestones to achieve a smile that you can feel confident in.
Haven’t set up a free consultation yet? Don’t hold back – schedule it today!