Adjusting to life in braces
Orthodontic treatment provides the pathway to a lifetime of healthy smiles. Keeping your braces clean and well-cared for, and following all of the instructions from your orthodontic team are important to keep your treatment on track.
Proper brushing and flossing are always important, but never more so than when you are in orthodontic treatment. If you do not take proper care of your teeth, plaque and bacteria can cause acid build up and that can lead to unpleasant consequences. Not only could you develop tooth decay or gum disease, demineralization or white spot lesions could occur which is usually permanent discoloration and staining.
Your braces create lots of nooks and crannies where food debris can get trapped. It’s essential to thoroughly clean your mouth to remove this debris and bacteria to prevent decay, gum disease, and demineralization. You’ll receive a braces care kit to help you keep your mouth clean at home and on-the-go.
These tools will keep your smile healthy, but only if you use them. It’s important to brush often during orthodontic treatment. We recommend brushing after every meal, so keep your travel toothbrush with you at work and at school. Brush for at least two minutes (we’ve given you a handy time, but you can also brush to your favorite music!).
When brushing, use a soft-bristled brush and be sure you’re using the correct angles to not only clean the teeth but to thoroughly clean around the gumline, brackets, and under the wires.
Flossing is also just as important because brushing alone cannot remove the plaque that builds up between your teeth. We recommend flossing at least once a day, typically at night. We know it can be difficult to thread the floss between your brackets so a floss threader can come in handy. Thread the floss through the floss threader and floss as usual. Floss between all your teeth, pushing up on a C-shape around each tooth before moving to the next.
Water flossers can also be a great tool while you’re in braces. They aren’t a substitute for flossing, but can be an extra tool in your tool belt! Use a water flosser after flossing normally to ensure a properly clean mouth.
Interproximal brushes are great for braces, too. They are tiny brushes that are designed to fit into even the hardest to reach back spaces of your mouth to help remove food debris. Then, you can brush and floss as normal to prevent plaque build up.
Taking the time to properly care for your smile while in braces will ensure a gorgeous smile once the braces are removed. Brush today for a beautiful tomorrow.