There is no doubt about it; having braces does make it hard to keep your teeth clean. The brackets seem to hide bits of food and they definitely make flossing a challenge. Luckily, your Newton Centre Orthodontist has some tips for the braces wearer in your home. We are located on Newton Center and Concord, and offer both traditional metal braces and Invisalign. It is very important to keep your teeth clean during your treatment so that when your braces are taken off, you are left with great teeth, and not teeth that immediately need fillings.
Obstacles to Overcome
When it comes to keeping teeth clean during braces treatment, there are three main obstacles:
For starters, they are in the way. The brackets and wires stop the toothbrush bristles and make flossing difficult.
Secondly, when you first get your braces on, and after subsequent tightening appointments, your teeth hurt, your jaw hurts, your whole face hurts. Sores from the brackets can hurt, a lot as well. The last thing you want to do is to apply pressure to your teeth.
Another obstacle is that plaque adheres to the brackets, so you need to make sure you are brushing the hardware in your mouth, as well as your teeth.
Do This During Painful Weeks
When your teeth hurt you won’t be eating a lot, but that doesn’t mean you can skip brushings.
One thing you can do is to rinse with water after every meal. This will help wash away food particles that would otherwise be food for bacteria.
If you are not already on ibuprofen, take some about half an hour before you plan on brushing your teeth.
You can also apply ice packs to help dull the pain, and when you feel some relief, grab the toothbrush.
Double check that you have the softest toothbrush available and brush your teeth the best you can.
Make sure you are using toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride.
Flossing is always difficult with braces, but floss threaders can help you get the floss under the brackets and wire.
Create Good Regular Cleaning Habits
Maintaining clean teeth while you have braces takes vigilance and good habits. It may be difficult to be this self-disciplined all day, every day but it will be work it.
When you know the date that you’ll be getting your braces on, make an appointment with the dentist for a thorough cleaning just a few days ahead of your orthodontist appointment.
Keeping small Go-Between interdental brushes with you to keep your braces free of food particles. These will keep your teeth clean between the brackets and stop you from worrying about having chunks of food in your braces after meals. Throw a few individually packed interdental toothbrushes in your school backpack so you always have some.
A Water-Pik is recommended to help keep your teeth clean as well. Water Piks are also good at helping to keep your gum-line clean. You still need to brush at a 45 degree angle to get your gum line clean, but a Water-Pik can help.
Talk to your orthodontist and ask if they recommend a particular electric toothbrush for you. Use that toothbrush and make sure to follow the directions.
If you are told that you will have the brackets removed or replaced, ask your orthodontist if you can arrange for a dental cleaning while they are off.
If you have more questions about how to keep your teeth clean while you are undergoing treatment with metal braces, call your Newton Centre Orthodontist. If you are interested in braces or Invisalign, call today for an appointment.