It is highly crucial to maintain good oral hygiene while wearing braces as braces, wires, springs, rubber bands, and other appliances can attract food and plaque, which can stain your teeth, damage the tooth enamel and even cause gum disease. Follow the instructions given by your dental hygienist and orthodontist on how to keep your braces and other attachments clean.
- Brush you teeth carefully after every meal
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, placing the brush at an angle of 45 degrees against the gums.
- If braces are fitted with elastics, remove them before brushing. You can place them back after the brushing routine
- Brush gently along the gum line using a circular motion, brushing the gums and teeth, spending about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth.
- Next brush the braces by firmly pressing the toothbrush such that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth.
- Brush in and around all of the brackets and wires
- Brush under the wires.
- Brush the inside surfaces of the teeth using a gentle jiggling
- Move the brush around the mouth, brushing the upper and lower teeth.
- Brush the chewing surfaces using a firm back and forth motion.
- Rinse your mouth properly using water and closely inspect the teeth and braces to evaluate their cleanliness
- Feed the short end of the floss through the space between the main arch wire and the upper portion of the tooth closest to the gum to floss the teeth
- Move the floss back and forth on each side of the two teeth the floss is between, and without too much force around the arch wire.
- Brush your teeth by using a regular soft toothbrush, brushing down from the top and then up from the bottom on each tooth with braces.
- Next, brush using a proxabrush, which is specially designed for cleaning between two braces.
- Insert and bring the proxabrush down from the top and then up from the bottom between two brace, several times in each direction. Repeat in the next space between two braces and continue until all teeth have been cleaned.
Caring for Retainers
- Brush your retainer each time you brush your teeth
- Soak the retainer in a denture cleanser once a day or at least once a week. Remember to rinse the retainer thoroughly with plain water before placing it back in the mouth.
- Regular visits to a oral health professional to monitor the health of your teeth and for professional cleanings every six months
- Sugary and starchy foods as they promote plaque formation
- Hard and/or sticky snacks such as popcorn, hard or chew candy, caramel, and/or nuts as they are difficult to remove from the orthodontic equipment in your mouth. Hard foods can also break or loosen the braces
- Break foods into small pieces so that they can be easily chewed
Playing Sports While Wearing Braces
Use a specially designed mouthguard when involved in vigorous sports
Source: cosmetic dentistry