Brushing and Flossing
Your mom was right: brushing and flossing are really, really important. Especially when you have braces, keeping up with your oral hygiene is vital to keep your teeth and gums healthy. We can help you select the right tools for the job, from the best toothbrush for braces to the right toothpaste and floss.
Brushing with Braces
There’s actually a right way and a wrong way to brush your teeth. Most people make mistakes without even realizing that they’re brushing their teeth wrong!
Especially while you have braces, brush your teeth after every meal to prevent food and bacteria from wearing away at your tooth enamel. Brackets and aligners can hold food particles against your teeth, causing sensitivity, bad breath, and tooth decay.
Use a soft-bristled, small headed toothbrush to get at all of your tooth surfaces, including the backs and tops of every tooth. Brushing should take you at least two minutes. Electric toothbrushes can increase the effectiveness of brushing, and many have built in timers to make sure you brush for long enough.
Use gentle circular motions and hold the head of your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. Pay special attention to the areas around your orthodontic appliances, and don’t brush too hard.
Flossing with Braces
Flossing around brackets takes a little more time and effort, but it’s worth it. That one little habit keeps your teeth and your braces cleaner, your breath fresher, and your mouth healthier. It can even prevent painful problems that could knock your treatment off track.
To floss with braces, use a floss threader or an orthodontic floss to get behind each wire. Use plenty of floss so that you have a few inches left when you wrap the floss around your fingertips, and gently slide the floss between your teeth using a back and forth motion.
Be sure to get the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria that can cause oral health problems. Repeat the process to get between all of your teeth.
You might find that flossing isn’t doing a perfect job at removing all of the food particles that get stuck between your teeth. In that case, ask us about using a water flosser.