Dental hygiene is crucial to reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. You can’t forego the habit of brushing and flossing when you have braces. Sacrificing this aspect of oral health can be very detrimental, not just on your teeth and gums but also with your braces. But braces complicate oral hygiene. Take a look at our tips for cleaning braces to “brush up” on your dental habits.

With braces on, you’ll need to pay extra attention when brushing and flossing. In addition to keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy, you need to be careful so as not to damage the vital components of your dental fixtures.

You also have to watch what you eat. Avoid chewy or hard-to-bite stuff; these food items can damage your braces. There are also certain habits that you need to stop such as biting your lip or thrusting your tongue against the teeth.

More importantly, you need to be careful when cleaning your braces. Utilizing improper techniques or cleaning materials can be injurious and lead to a premature deterioration of your dental fixture. Here are a few oral hygiene tips to consider when you’re wearing braces; this includes what to do to clean your dental appliance.

Brush Your Teeth and Braces

For those that don’t wear braces, the standard of teeth care involves brushing twice a day. But if you’re one of those that do wear, a two-a-day routine just won’t cut it. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal, including after each quick snack and even your late-night grub.

Normally food debris gets stuck or clings on to the spaces between or around your teeth. But when you have braces on, these particles can easily get into the tight areas. The longer these flecks remain trapped in these spots, the more prone you are to developing dental health issues like gum disease or tooth decay. To prevent this, clean your teeth and braces regularly using a toothbrush with soft bristles; if you prefer, you can use an electric toothbrush.

Position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush starting from the gum line. Use gentle up and down strokes, especially when the bristles are exposed to the brackets.

Don’t Forget to Floss

braces photo

Dental care supplies Photo by Steve Snodgrass

Your dental hygiene routine isn’t complete when you don’t floss. Ideally, you should do it at least once a day. If you’re wearing braces, you need to floss not only between the brackets but also under the wires. We understand flossing can be a bit challenging when you have braces on. We suggest that you get an orthodontic flosser or floss threader, available in most drug stores.

Other Cleaning Methods

It is important to rinse off the harmful bacteria that triggers oral health problems. Gargle with antiseptic mouthwash. If brushing, flossing, and mouthwash are not available, you can opt to swish with water.

Talk to Us

With braces, oral hygiene tends to get a bit more challenging. These dental appliances can get in the way of your usual brushing strokes, creating tight spots where food debris is stuck. With the brackets and wires in place, it also creates many hard-to-reach spaces.

If you need more tips on how to take care of your braces, get in touch with us. Call Stansbury Park Orthodontics at (435) 579-3800.