When you are wearing braces to straighten teeth and align your bite, caring for your teeth and gums is more important than ever. Food particles can become trapped in your brackets and wires, and require timely removal to discourage plaque formation.
Plaque around the brackets may result in decalcification (or white spots) from forming on tooth enamel. When plaque buildup is left on braces hardware you may end up with gum disease–swollen, inflamed gum tissue–as well as tooth decay.
Caring for your teeth and braces, first, take out any removable parts like bands/elastics. Rinse your mouth to help dislodge food particles. Brush carefully around your braces using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Brush the wires from top to bottom and around your teeth.
Make it your goal to brush twice a day for two minutes. This helps you pay attention to each tooth. Clean the tops, bottoms, inside and back of each tooth, and rinse well. Using an electric toothbrush can help make the job easier if you have a hard time using a manual one.
To floss, find a flossing method you enjoy using, and floss every day. You can use waxed flosses (these don’t shred in the hardware), dental tape, self-threaded flossers, and interdental flossers that are made to clean around braces. Flossing gently, clean under the main wire, then clean between two teeth, sliding up and down carefully. Repeat this process for each tooth.
Water flossers have helped patients floss regularly, and they can clean up to 3X as effectively as regular flossers. They usually have an orthodontic tip for cleaning around braces, including a tapered brush that can clean hard-to-reach plaque around the braces hardware.
If you have any questions about cleaning your braces, please call Beverly Hills Braces in Beverly Hills, CA, at 310-278-9101. Our orthodontist, Dr. Molayem, and our team are here to help you on your journey to a straighter and healthier smile!