Healthy teeth and gums can be achieved by maintaining a consistent daily dental cleaning routine. When you have braces you should be keen and patient when cleaning your teeth this is because braces have countless of tiny spaces that trap food which if not cleaned well will result to plaque, and may lead to other dental problems such as cavities, swollen gums, permanent stain and bad breath. To prevent this you should:
- Always brush your teeth after every meal and at bedtime.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash at least once a day.
- Clean in between your teeth once or twice a day.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.
- Always clean your toothbrush and any other dental cleaning appliance after use.
- Eat healthy foods and avoid hard foods, sticky foods and sugary foods.
When brushing your teeth employ the usual brushing technique but exercise caution and patience to ensure you do not damage your arch wire and braces or injure your gums. When brushing your teeth you should;
- Use Orthodontic toothbrushes, Inter-dental toothbrushes or power toothbrushes which can remove plaque more effectively than manual toothbrushes
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or as soon as the bristle start to wear down.
- Change your rubber bands after your eat.
- Use the same brushing motion on the entire tooth surfaces.
- Clean your braces brushing gently from the top then to the bottom.
At the end of your oral cleaning routine your braces should look clean and the edges of the brackets should be seen clearly.
Flossing is essential for cleaning in between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach to remove food particles and plaque. When flossing:
- Choose a thread with a stiffen end that threads it through the gap between each teeth.
- Curve the floss around each tooth gently moving up and down the side of each tooth
- Do not floss too forcefully or put too much pressure you could damage your braces or injure your gums.
- Floss at night to ensure your teeth are absolutely clean at bedtime.
Wearing braces requires patience and discipline. Proper oral care at home helps contribute to the long-term health of your teeth and gums. It is far easy to take care of your braces than to have them replaced often. Be sure to ask your dentist for information on how to best take care of the braces. Clean braces will mean a clean and healthy mouth coupled with fresh breath.