Our doctors have a great equation to explain how to keep your braces on track: Brodsky Orthodontics + YOU = a beautiful smile! That’s right, half of the work for keeping your smile straight, white, and happy is up to you to maintain. Without your help, your smile could end up spotty or stained by the time we remove your braces, and no one wants that!
If you’ve just gotten braces from Brodsky Orthodontics, you may be wondering how to take care of them so you can avoid staining. When you first set out on your braces journey, there are a few things you need to learn to maintain your oral health and keep your braces safe throughout the process.
Now that you’re the proud owner of a set of braces, your biggest responsibility is keeping your teeth clean. Re-learning how to brush your teeth is a major part of having braces, and lucky for you, Brodsky Orthodontics is here to help.
Why Is Brushing Important?
If you have been brushing your teeth your whole life, it makes sense to wonder why you have to change your routine with braces. After all, isn’t brushing obvious? While the simple 2-minute method of brushing that your dentist taught you is the best way to manage your teeth without braces, it is only a foundation for brushing with braces. You need to take multiple extra steps when brushing with braces, and knowing why makes all the difference.
Typically, poor brushing isn’t very noticeable until the day one of our doctors takes your braces off. We sometimes find discoloration around the area the bracket was attached when this happens. Permanent white spots may form on your teeth, causing a bleached-out look on only some parts of each tooth. Because these spots form around the bracket, it can be very apparent that they are due to poor brushing around braces. In other cases, improper brushing can leave behind brown spots, which are even more noticeable.
It can be very disappointing for patients who have worn braces for years to wind up with straight but spotty teeth. That’s why our list of tips for brushing with braces is about to become your best friend!
Tips for Brushing With Braces
Now you know why you should brush your teeth with braces, let’s find out how! Even though this seems obvious, brushing teeth with braces is an added dental challenge! Because of this challenge, you may need to relearn some of your old brushing methods.
Tip #1: Brush Well
You’ll need to use a gentle, circular motion with your toothbrush. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle on the top and bottom of your brackets to be sure to clean each tooth thoroughly. That means you will be brushing in three different positions for each part of your mouth for 30 seconds.
Don’t forget to brush the backs of your teeth, along your gum line, and your tongue! Plaque is pesky and can hide anywhere.
Tip #2: Brush After Every Meal
It may feel like second nature to brush your teeth morning and night. However, when braces come into the picture, the best way to ensure your teeth are clean is to brush them after each meal. The reason is that plaque can form quickly after eating, and plaque has a lot more places to hide when braces, wires and rubber bands are on your teeth. Brushing after every meal means plaque never gets the chance to form, and even if you do miss a section when brushing, you are much more likely to clean it later if you are brushing your teeth more often.
Tip #3: Don’t Forget Your Gums
It’s easy to forget to brush your gums when you have braces, but neglecting to do so can result in gum sensitivity or inflammation. Because your gums are less visible when your brackets are glued to your teeth, you’ll need to pay extra attention to them when you brush so you don’t have to worry about sensitivity. Bacteria and plaque hide on your gums, too, so keep brushing them after every meal!
Tip #4: Don’t Underestimate the Power of Rinsing!
Rinsing your mouth with water, mouthwash, or even a water flosser is a great way to maintain the cleanliness of your teeth throughout the day. Rinsing keeps your breath smelling fresh, and it also removes food particles that can easily become lodged in between brackets or teeth. You don’t want to “save your food for later,” and regular rinsing can help make sure you don’t.
Water flossers are excellent tools for keeping your mouth rinsed and clean. Although they can’t replace regular dental floss, they are a perfect supplement for your rinsing routine. Like traditional dental floss, water flossers like the WaterPik use a steady stream of water to dislodge food particles from those hard-to-reach places in your mouth.
Tip #5: Floss Twice a Day
Flossing has many oral health benefits, but it’s often the most overlooked step when you’re brushing your teeth with braces. When you’ve got all that hardware in your mouth, it’s even more important to floss between your teeth to get rid of the plaque buildup that often forms there.
When you receive your home care kit from Brodsky Orthodontics, you’ll notice that we’ve included floss threaders to help with flossing. These threaders look like loops that help to pull the floss through your teeth above your connecting wires.
You’ll also notice that we’ve given you a proxy brush, which is a tool that looks like a pipe cleaner. Your proxy brush will help you to brush beneath your connecting wires.
Floss the gum line in the shape of a “C” with a soft up and down motion. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when flossing around the archwire to protect your gums and your appliance.
Brush With the Pros at Brodsky Orthodontics
Your journey with braces may come with a few lessons, but it’s nothing you can’t handle with the Brodsky Orthodontics team at your side! When it comes to brushing your teeth with braces, refer to this guide to help you stay on track. If you have other questions about taking care of your braces, give us a call!
Ready to start your braces journey? Call us today to schedule your free consultation!