There are around 4 million people in the US wearing braces right now. About 25% of them are adults, and all of them have one thing in common. In order to successfully complete their treatment, they need to master the art of how to properly brush their teeth with braces.
The challenge is obvious. If you’ve got braces, you’ve got brackets attached to your teeth. You’ve got wires or elastics getting in the way.
It’s not easy, but it’s totally doable if you follow a few key steps. Read on to find out how to properly brush your teeth with braces.
How to Properly Brush Your Teeth With Braces
OK, the proper way to brush with braces is going to sound like a lot. But remember, once you’ve done it a few times, it’ll become routine. All you’ll need is:
- Fluoride toothpaste
- Soft, round bristled brush
- Floss – use a waxed type designed for braces
- Floss threader
First, rinse your mouth out to remove any large food particles.
Next, take your brush, load it with toothpaste, and go in at a 45° angle. Brush the front of your teeth along the gum line, using a circular motion. Now head to the bottom of your teeth and brush along the bottom of your braces and teeth.
Pay particular attention to the gum line. This is the part that is most easily missed. Slowly work your way through your mouth, giving attention to every tooth in turn.
Now thoroughly brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Finally, work your way slowly along the interior surfaces of your teeth.
Rinse your mouth with water and check your teeth and braces. Pay close attention to the area around the brackets. That’s where debris can get caught and plaque can start to build up.
Your braces should be bright and shiny. If they’re dull, go back over them again.
How to Floss With Braces
A floss threader is like a large, soft needle that you can thread with floss. You can tie the floss to the threader and then get behind the wire by threading it through from the top. Pull the floss through and floss as normal between your teeth.
Avoid going from the bottom up behind the wire. You’ll be more likely to poke your gums and irritate them. It does take time to floss in between each tooth this way, but you’ll get faster with practice.
Another alternative is to use a water flosser. You can direct the nozzle so that the jet of water reaches all of these places that are tough to get to.
When Should You Brush and Floss With Braces?
You’re going to need to up your oral care game during the time you have braces. Most of us brush morning and evening anyway, but now you’ll need to add in after lunch and after supper.
What should you do if you forget your toothbrush when you’re out of the house? Rinse your mouth as thoroughly as possible several times with water. This will dislodge as much food as possible and then brush them at the first opportunity.
Can You Use an Electric Toothbrush With Braces?
Yes, you can!
Electric toothbrushes are an effective way to keep teeth healthy with braces. They’ll get the job done more quickly and are often more thorough than doing it by hand.
They work in two ways: electric and sonic electric.
An electric toothbrush can perform up to 7,000 strokes per minute. A sonic toothbrush can go up to 30,000 strokes per minute.
Sonic toothbrushes use high-frequency sound waves as well as the friction of the brush. This means they can more easily blast food particles out of hard-to-reach places. However, the bottom line is that either is great and will give you a more comprehensive clean around your braces than manual brushing can.
Take Time to Train Your Kids
It’s probably years since you supervised your kids brushing their teeth. But when they first get braces, they need a little of your time to train them and help them get into good habits.
Make sure that they’re angling the toothbrush at 45°. This will ensure they get in behind the wire, make good contact with the surface of their teeth and clean them thoroughly.
Brushing Teeth With Invisalign
One of the many reasons that people love Invisalign is that cleaning your teeth is super-easy.
All you need to do is remove your aligners. Brush and floss your teeth as normal and give your aligners a quick clean. Then you just pop them back in and carry on with your day.
There are a few golden rules of Invisalign to follow to ensure that you don’t get issues with tooth decay. They are:
- Always brush your teeth after eating
- Don’t skimp on brushing – do a thorough job
- Don’t forget to floss your teeth every time
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth
- Clean your trays every time
The goal is that your teeth are perfectly clean before you put your trays back in. Any food caught in your teeth will stay in contact with them the whole time you’ve got your trays in. That’s bad news because it could lead to tooth decay.
So although Invisalign cleaning is a cinch, you still need to do it right. During your regular checkups, your orthodontist will check the condition of your teeth.
Why Brushing and Flossing With Braces Matters
During the time you have braces, your teeth are more vulnerable to decay than at normal times. Without diligent brushing and flossing, food particles will get lodged between your teeth. This will lead to tooth decay and you’ll need fillings to correct this.
Another issue you could develop is gingivitis. This is a mild form of gum disease that’s caused by plaque on your teeth. Plaque forms when bacteria build up around your teeth and combine with food residue.
Gingivitis is painful and can cause your gums to bleed. If it’s not treated, it can lead to periodontitis, which is a more serious form of gum disease.
If you don’t know how to brush your teeth with braces, you could end up with permanent damage to your teeth. When the braces are removed, discolored spots may be left behind. So take the time to get familiar with how to properly brush your teeth with braces before you start your treatment.
All of these issues are totally avoidable if you properly care for your teeth with braces.
Are You Ready for Braces?
Now that you know how to properly brush your teeth with braces, all you need is to find the right orthodontist.
At TDR, we have nearly 30 years of experience in the Detroit metro area. Our dedicated team is committed to finding you the right treatment so that you can achieve your smile goals.
Why not schedule a free consultation today to get the process started?