Good oral hygiene when you’re sporting braces is more important than ever – especially when it comes to busting plaque. The chief concern is that plaque (a mixture of food and bacteria) can damage the teeth. Cavities associated with poor oral hygiene with braces in place is less common than it used to be thanks to fluoride. However, what is more commonly seen, is decalcification of the enamel. That is, white spots or streaks where the minerals of the enamel are altered and this is most visible after all the orthodontic treatment is finished and the orthodontic brackets are removed.
We can’t constantly be using a toothbrush, so we must be vigilant about proper cleaning, and that means brushing teeth at least twice a day (preferably four times a day with braces). If you think you’ll be able to get away simply with using mouthwash, think again.
The Big ‘B’
Your toothbrush should be soft bristled and your toothpaste should have fluoride in it. Brushing willy-nilly isn’t the greatest idea either. Use small, round motions and make sure you get those bristles under your gum line and in between each brace. Spend time on every tooth, brushing downwards on the upper teeth and up on the lower ones. It’s really important to give your tongue a good brushing too. There’s lots of bacteria there that can lead to plaque. If you’re not spending at least two minutes brushing your teeth, you’re not doing a very good job!
With braces, here’s when you should brush:
With all the brushing you’re doing, make sure you replace your toothbrush more often. It’s not going to be as useful when the bristles aren’t doing their proper job.
Flossing is more important than ever now that you have braces. Superfloss is great to use. It has a stiff end that goes between your teeth and under your braces, a spongy middle and a regular floss end. You can also use a floss threader, which will get the floss underneath the wire of your braces. Flossing will help keep plaque at bay and you should be doing it every day – after brushing, especially. Always rinse with water after flossing.
Swish And Swirl
Using an antibacterial mouthwash is also helpful. It will also help to curb any gum and cheek irritation that sometimes happens with braces. Peroxyl is a good hydrogen peroxide rinse. Using this up to four times a day will help prevent any infection from small abrasions. It helps the healing process and is also good for canker sores.
Always follow the advice of Dr. David Silberman and his staff. He and his expert team will be able to guide you in all your dental needs, including how to care for your braces in the best possible way. Give them a call today to set up an appointment.