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Brushing With Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

Braces are still a go-to orthodontic treatment option for many people. That said, they do have the potential to accumulate twice as much plaque unless you step up your oral hygiene and brushing techniques. Today, our BC and Alberta dentists explain how you can accomplish this. 

Adhere to the 45-Degree Rule

Remember to follow the 45-degree rule when brushing your braces. Brush the bottom teeth slightly upwards so you'll be able to get under the groove of the bracket, and the top teeth slightly downwards to go under the groove of the bracket here. The sides of your braces and in between your cheek and teeth are also prime places for food to get stuck. 

Get into the practice of cleaning your teeth after meals with a toothpick or floss, which should make brushing less difficult. 

Treat the Brackets Like Part of the Tooth

Be sure to brush in the areas next to the brackets, as allowing plaque to accumulate here can result in tooth discolouration or cavities in the spaces between teeth. 

Brackets and cables can leave additional crevices for bacteria to settle and proliferate in as a result of having braces. Keep this from happening by creating a daily brushing practice after each meal into your dental hygiene schedule. 

Flossing is still possible while wearing braces. However, you must use dental floss with flossing lassos or firm points to reach under the wire. You may also require a toothbrush with stiffer bristles so you can prevent the bristles from becoming trapped in or damaged by your brackets. 

Make Healthy Choices

It all starts with making better food choices in order to avoid plaque buildup in the mouth. When you wear braces, you don't have to substantially alter your diet, but we recommend avoiding items that make it more difficult to keep your teeth clean. Corn kernels, licorice, gummy candy, jerky, and taffy, to name a few things, will become trapped in your braces more easily than other meals.

When you stay away from this small list of sticky and difficult-to-eat foodstuffs, your regular brushing routine will simply be easier. To find out which meals you should avoid, talk to your orthodontist about what you should and shouldn't eat.

Don't Rush It

It is usually recommended that you thoroughly clean your teeth for a minimum of two minutes every day. You can try using a proxabrush if you're having problems reaching all of the surfaces of your teeth because of the wires and braces in your mouth. Because of its small size and flexibility, it may be used to clean under and around braces and other orthodontic appliances.

Start by Rinsing Your Mouth

To begin, remove any elastics, bands, or removable orthodontic parts from your mouth and store them in a secure location away from your mouth. After that, take a cup and fill it halfway with water before rinsing your mouth out with the water. Food particles and other things can be freed by swishing a small amount of water around the inside of your mouth.

If you still have questions about your braces and how to keep them clean, feel free to contact our BC and Alberta dentists for a consultation.

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