Your smile—it’s what people typically notice first when looking at you. It’s also something that you’ve worked hard to perfect if you have braces. To keep your smile looking good and feeling healthy, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene, and that means properly cleaning your braces. In fact, brace-wearers are prone to more dental problems—like gingivitis and cavities—than non-brace-wearers. While it may seem too challenging or time-consuming to properly maintain your braces at home, it’s really rather easy.
Using a toothbrush, whether you choose the typical brush or an electric one, is the standard way to keep your teeth and braces clean. With braces, it’s best to opt for a brush with soft bristles and a compact head. When it’s time to brush, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line, and use a back and forth motion. Brace-wearers should always remove elastics before brushing and sure to brush the top, bottom, and front of the brackets to remove all of the plaque and food debris. And when brushing, be sure to use a fluoridated toothpaste to decrease the risk of tooth decay.
Because food can easily get trapped in between teeth and under wires, it’s important to floss every day. There are a number of options available depending on what type of cleaning tool you prefer, from soft picks to regular dental floss.
Oral Irrigation Systems
Oral irrigation systems are also a great way to keep your teeth, gums, and braces clean. The specialized systems can be purchased at most drugstores, and they work by spraying water through a device to flush the teeth and braces—especially in hard to reach spots. But be sure to keep in mind that while oral irrigation systems are a great addition to your home oral hygiene routine, it should never replace brushing or flossing.
These few simple at-home steps can be the difference between a healthy, beautiful smile and significant dental problems. To find out more about how to properly clean your braces or to discuss the areas in which you could use some help, give Dr. Bennett a call today.