Having a good oral health regimen is always extremely important, but taking care of your teeth while wearing braces becomes an even higher priority, as your previous cleaning methods may need to be changed in order to stay effective.
Braces can trap food particles, and make it difficult to brush and floss. Therefore it is important to brush carefully and correctly. Begin on the outside surfaces of your teeth, brushing with circular strokes at a straight angle. To clean the area between braces, angle the toothbrush up and then down. Remember to clean the chewing surfaces of all teeth, and then brush the inner sides of the teeth.
In order to reach all of the sediment, plaque, and food that sometimes get stuck in the brackets, a Proxabrush can be used. It has a special tip that can be maneuvered under the wires and gently pushed between teeth for extra deep cleaning. It should be used slowly and carefully, to avoid any damage to the braces.
Floss threaders can be used to help maneuver floss under the arch wire between the teeth. After flossing each section, make sure to get a new segment of floss. It may be a timely process, but it is extremely important for your oral hygiene to maintain daily flossing while wearing braces.
After brushing and flossing are complete, it is recommended to rinse with water or an antiseptic in order to displace any leftover debris. Antiseptic rinses are especially beneficial because they can help to heal any irritation caused by brushing, flossing, or the braces themselves.
After braces, you will be given a retainer. It is just as important to keep your retainer clean as it is to clean your teeth! Brushing your retainer helps to remove food particles and plaque that have accumulated. Soaking retainers daily in a glass of room temperature water with a tablet of denture cleaner is also advised. This helps to reduce the chances of infections, as it keeps the retainer especially clean. Make sure that the water is not too hot, as that could cause the retainer to lose its shape!
To learn more about oral hygiene and braces, contact Dr. Derek E. Brown of Winning Smiles Orthodontics. Winning Smiles Orthodontics has offices located in Hyattsville and Bowie, MD, and is proud to offer services to those in and around Washington, DC; Bowie, MD; Hyattsville, MD; Prince George’s County; Montgomery County; and Anne Arundel County.