The most challenging aspect of traditional braces is getting used to a new brushing and flossing routine. While before you were able to brush and floss normally, braces create a small roadblock to work around. The habit of proper brushing with braces will keep your teeth feeling healthy and clean.
Your orthodontist will typically show you how to brush during your in-person checkups. Still, it is always helpful to have a step-by-step guide with tips for brushing your teeth with braces.
The four steps when brushing with braces
When learning how to brush with braces, there are four key steps that you will want to follow in order. These steps help you learn how to clean the wiring of your braces, as well as the proper way to brush your teeth.
Step 1: Remove dental appliances
Most traditional braces have some form of removable dental appliances. These are normally in the form of elastic bands or something close to them. You will first want to remove them before you start the brushing process.
Step 2: Cleaning
After removing any bands on your braces, you can now begin the next step: Cleaning the metal wiring and pins in your braces. Gently clean around the pins and wires and brush each wire individually.
Step 3: Brush your teeth
Now that your braces are clean, it is time to brush your teeth. Depending on the type of toothbrush, you will want to brush each section of your mouth for 30 seconds at a time. Gently scrub the front, top and backs of your teeth. This will help ensure your mouth is cleaned properly.
Step 4: Inspect braces and teeth
After brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, it is time to inspect your braces and teeth. Rinse your mouth and check the mirror for any food particles you may have missed. This will ensure you have a clean set of teeth and braces.
Types of toothbrushes to consider
When it comes to brushing your teeth with braces, it can be hard to know which toothbrush is the most effective. While it may seem like electric toothbrushes are aggressive when brushing with braces, they are not any more harmful than manual toothbrushes.
The type of toothbrush that you use to brush braces does not have much of a difference in terms of effectiveness. Your main concern is making sure that you use proper, thorough brushing methods.
Flossing with braces
Your oral care routine wouldn’t be complete without flossing. There is, however, a correct way to floss when it comes to metal braces. You will want to be extra careful when flossing with your braces, as it can easy to damage dental devices.
You will need to carefully work the floss under the wiring of your braces, gently moving the floss through each tooth individually. While the process might take some time, in the beginning, to get the floss coordination down, you will develop a system faster than you might think.
It is recommended that you try to stick to about a foot and a half of floss, and prioritize floss that is waxed for easier movement.
Toothbrush, floss, and what else?
There are many tools you will need at your disposal when it comes to brushing with braces. While a toothbrush and floss have been mentioned, there is one other essential tool, known as a proxabrush. These are tiny brushes that go between your teeth and help to remove plaque. They work similar to floss, and they vary in size depending on how close together your teeth are.
The other tool you will want at your disposal is toothpaste. While it might seem like this is unnecessary to mention, not all toothpaste is made equally. Your dentist or orthodontist might recommend a specific brand, but if they don’t, it is worth looking for non-abrasive toothpaste.
Complete your oral hygiene routine
Now that you can effectively care for your braces, your oral health routine should remain intact. The best course of action is to get into the habit of cleaning your braces and flossing. While it might seem difficult at first, it will get easier with time.
If you still have questions about the proper ways to clean your braces, feel free to give us a call. Alternatively, you can schedule your appointment today to start pursuing healthier, happier teeth on your own time.