How to Keep Teeth Healthy Throughout Orthodontic Treatments
Braces can make your teeth straighter and improve your smile, but it’s important to make sure you’re still practicing good oral hygiene while wearing them. This orthodontic treatment covers your teeth, making it more challenging to keep them healthy. Keep the following tips in mind so that you can maintain healthy teeth and gums with braces.
How to Floss with Braces
When you have braces, flossing your teeth can seem difficult. However, flossing is a crucial part of keeping your gums in good condition by removing food particles from between your teeth. To floss your teeth, use regular floss and a floss threader, which can reach between brackets. As you hold the floss, slide it under the wires and between your teeth. Make sure you also get below your gum line. When you first start flossing with braces, it might take awhile to clean between all of your teeth. This should become faster as you get used to flossing.
How to Brush with Braces
Brushing your teeth clears away food particles that can lead to plaque buildup. Use a toothbrush that has soft bristles rather than one with stiffer bristles, since this reduces the risk of damaging your braces. Soft-bristled brushes also make it easier to brush around wires and brackets, even in areas that are harder to reach. Before you start brushing, take off elastics that are on your braces. When you’re ready to brush, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and move it over your teeth. Clean the braces off gently with the brush as well to remove any food that’s stuck on them. You can then rinse your teeth off using an oral irrigator or mouthwash, which helps ensure that food particles are gone. Keep in mind that when you choose toothpaste and mouthwash, look for products that have fluoride in order to provide your teeth with even more protection from tooth decay.
Schedule Regular Appointments
When you wear braces, make sure you come in for routine dental checkups in addition to your orthodontic appointments. During these checkups, you’ll have plaque and tartar buildup removed from your teeth. Even if you brush and floss properly, it’s still possible for this accumulation to occur. Having it removed reduces your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Your regular orthodontic appointments help determine if you need any adjustments made to your braces. Before and after these appointments, you might find it helpful to apply lip balm or Orajel if you end up with sores or cracked lips while wearing braces.
Our pediatric dentist can help provide you with the tools you’ll need for keeping your teeth healthy, along with referrals for orthodontic treatments. Contact us at Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to set up an appointment.