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How To Keep Your Teeth Clean and Healthy While Wearing Braces

We all know how important good dental hygiene is; it prevents disease and decay while keeping your smile beautiful. However, oral care with braces can be more difficult to maintain. The wires and brackets make it easier for food to get trapped in and around teeth while making it harder to brush and floss.

So, what are some of the best—and easiest—ways to keep your teeth in tip-top shape while wearing braces?

Tooth brushing: The foundation of good oral hygiene.

As always, brush your teeth at least twice a day. With braces, the ideal amount of brushing is two to three times per day or after every meal if possible. You should also find a toothbrush, manual or electric, with soft bristles. If you use an electric toothbrush, only use moderate speed settings to avoid damaging or breaking the brackets and wires.

Interdental toothbrushes can also make brushing with braces easier. They fit between your teeth and the wires to remove plaque more effectively.

Don’t forget these habits for a good brushing technique:

  • Aim the brush toward your gums.
  • Brush in a circular motion.
  • Be gentle to avoid irritating your gums.

Don’t forget the importance of flossing.

Whether you wear braces or not, you should be flossing at least once a day. However, flossing is even more important for people with braces since food particles are more likely to get stuck around the brackets or even in your gums.

A non-traditional flossing option is an oral irrigator, a device that uses a high-pressure stream of water to remove plaque and food that are trapped in difficult-to-reach spots.

Try adding a rinse to your routine.

While brushing your teeth after every meal is the ideal practice for orthodontic hygiene, it isn’t always realistic. In this case, you should make a point of rinsing your mouth out with water after midday meals.

Another rinse you can add to your daily routine is a fluoride rinse that you use after brushing. Fluoride keeps your teeth strong and protects them against potential damage.

Assess your snacks.

When you got braces, your orthodontist probably gave you a list of foods and drinks to avoid. That’s because they can cause damage to both your teeth and the braces’ hardware. Steer clear from:

  • hard foods (popcorn, ice, raw fruits, and vegetables)
  • sticky and chewy foods (caramel, gummy candies, tough cuts of meat)
  • acidic items (citrus fruits and juices)
  • sugary foods and drinks (soda, sweets, processed foods).

Keep scheduling your routine dental appointments.

Remember, your orthodontist and dentist do very different work. So, while it is easy to assume that if you’re seeing one, you don’t need to see the other, a dentist can provide professional cleanings and see signs of potential oral health issues that an orthodontist might not see. Having a dental checkup and cleaning every six months is recommended.

Do you want to continue the conversation on oral hygiene habits?

All those steps might seem like a lot, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it for a smile that feels as good as it looks.

At Rio Grande Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, we want you to have a happy and healthy smile. Schedule an appointment with one of our dental specialists to get started on your journey to better oral hygiene.


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