Most people never think about the best way to brush their teeth until they get braces. Dr. Chad Carver at Stellar Family Orthodontics in Mukilteo and Mill Creek, Washington, sees patients all the time who struggle to brush with braces.
It comes as no surprise what having a mouth full of metal brackets and wires makes it harder to brush and floss your teeth. We understand it can be time-consuming, especially if you’re often left with food and other debris stuck in the crevices of your braces.
We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to make brushing with braces easier and more effective.
How to brush your teeth with braces
Braces require special care that goes beyond regular brushing and flossing. Here are some tips to help you brush your teeth with braces:
Use a mouth rinse.
Simply swishing around mouthwash is a simple, yet effective, way to remove tons of debris, bacteria, and food particles from in between your teeth and braces. Don’t have mouth rinse at home? No problem. Rinsing your mouth with a glass of water also works well.
Brush each bracket and wire.
Yes, it sounds time-consuming. But it really is worth the extra effort for healthy teeth and gums. When you brush each bracket from top to bottom, you’re making sure that there’s no hidden debris left behind. Try moving the brush up and down and all the way around your teeth.
Brush at a 45° angle.
Starting at your gums, brush at a 45° angle to make sure you’re removing any food particles and debris. This also helps remove any sticky plaque from your gums to prevent periodontal disease.
The Stellar Family Orthodontics team recommends the Platypus Flosser®. This patented orthodontic flossing device uses a special structure that requires no threading. The flosser fits perfectly in between your arch wires, allowing you to floss between your brackets as you normally would.
Brush every surface.
When you have braces, it’s important to brush the front, back, and all chewing surfaces of your teeth. Without routine care, your braces can trap plaque and bacteria, increasing your risk of gum disease and cavities.
Why brushing with braces matters
Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, is the best way to protect against tooth decay and periodontal disease. But it’s especially important if you have braces. Because braces use brackets and wires that block a portion of your teeth, they’re inherently harder to clean.
If you don’t care for your teeth with braces, you can increase your risk of:
- Cavities (tooth decay)
- Gum inflammation
- Gum disease (periodontal disease)
- Chipped teeth
- Broken teeth
- Tooth loss
Another common problem if you don’t brush properly with braces is white spots. When you brush and floss properly, you’re less likely to be left with white spots on your teeth once Dr. Carver removes your braces.
Brushing your teeth with braces doesn’t have to be difficult. If you have any more questions, call the experienced team at Stellar Family Orthodontics or schedule a free consultation online now!