Braces and Dental Hygiene
Keeping your braces clean can be frustrating. The brackets and wires can capture and trap food easily and it can be difficult to remove. During your visits to our office at Amborn Orthodontics, our team and Dr. Amborn will offer you tips and guidelines, stressing the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth while getting the orthodontic care that you need.
Tips for Keeping your Braces CleanBrush Frequently
You have to brush more often. That's right, we know that you have been raised to brush your teeth twice a day, but when a patient has braces, they should really consider brushing after every meal. This can be frustrating, but trapped food can be more than just unsightly, it can damage your teeth.
When access to a toothbrush is unreasonable or unavailable, such as lunchtime at school or work, water can help. Get in the habit or swishing some water around in your mouth at the end of a meal. This can help dislodge debris and remove sugar particles that are trapped.
When brushing, begin along your gum line. Remove food and plaque along the gum ridge. Then carefully angle the brush toward the brackets to remove any stuck debris from the bracket.
Flossing your braces can be complicated but very necessary. Many people think that flossing with braces is unnecessary due to the hassle of it, but this is not true. The trick is learning some techniques. First, be sure to purchase unwaxed floss, waxed floss is more likely to get stuck in your braces. You will need to carefully work around the wires and floss between your teeth. Be sure to form a letter 'c' when arcing the floss thread, not just do an up and down motion. Removing plaque between your teeth is just as important with your braces and it is without them to avoid gum disease. Some patients have found a Waterpik to be an easier way to floss around their braces.
Be aware of the foods you eat
While you have braces, you have to be aware of what you are eating. Maintaining a healthy balanced diet is not only good for your body, but for your teeth as well. Eating a healthy diet is always important, but having sugar trapped in your brackets can cause serious damage to your teeth.
Avoid foods that can stick to your braces, or get easily trapped. This may include:
Helping Younger Patients Keep their Braces CleanOral hygiene with braces can be complicated; younger patients will require assistance. We want to avoid the problems that come from not taking care of teeth, such as decay and gum disease. Parental assistance can make a significant difference. From helping them make correct food choices, to encouraging the intake of water, to frequent reminders to brush and floss, you will need to help your child take care of their teeth while wearing braces.