Cleaning Teeth with Braces: BrushingWhen learning the nuances of cleaning teeth with braces, it is vital to keep the goal of braces in mind: to straighten crooked or misaligned teeth and change the pacing of crowded teeth. It is essential to have straight, uncrowded teeth for aesthetic reasons, but they are equally important for maintaining good dental hygiene. When teeth are straight, it is, quite simply, much easier to reach and eliminate the plaque that causes tooth decay and dental cavities. For the period of around 18 months that you will have braces, however, knowing how to clean teeth with braces properly is crucial. And the importance of brushing as a cleaning practice cannot be overstated. By developing a healthy brushing routine, you will maintain your dental health for years and decades to come. At the Columbia Town Center Ortho, we recommend taking the following steps when brushing teeth with braces:
- Make sure that you have removed all of the parts of your braces that can be removed. This includes rubber bands and elastics.
- Gently brush around each bracket and wire with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Brush your teeth. At the Columbia Town Center Ortho, we recommend that all of our patients brush for at least two minutes, twice a day, but this may be a longer process when cleaning teeth with braces.
- Make sure you rinse your mouth thoroughly before you reapply and rubber bands or elastics.
Cleaning Teeth with Braces: FlossingMost people hear from a very your age how essential flossing is to good oral health. There is little question that cleaning between your teeth is just as important a part of this process than cleaning the outer surfaces. Cleaning between your teeth when you have braces can be complicated, however. The steps below may seem tricky at first, but with a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
- Thread a strand of waxed dental floss that is approximately 18 inches long under the wire of your braces, between the brackets.
- Slowly but firmly move the floss up and down between your teeth, making sure to remove the plaque from the interior surfaces of both teeth.
- Unthread and move on to the next tooth, repeating until you have flossed all of your teeth.