Whether you are an adult, a child, or somewhere in between, wearing dental braces can be no fun. Although braces are more comfortable, aesthetically attractive, and easier to maintain than ever before, there is still work associated with having braces. A lot of this work comes down to keeping them clean, which can be difficult. Cleaning teeth with braces undoubtedly requires a little bit of extra time. That said, keeping your teeth and gums clean is all the more important when you have braces, and it is vital that you understand how to do so correctly.
Failing to brush thoroughly — and especially failing to floss — will lead to the build-up of plaque. And as plaque turns to tartar and the bacteria continues to build up, it can lead directly to decay and cavities. The problem specific to cleaning teeth with braces, however, is that the bacteria has many more places to hide. This fact makes it essential that you practice the proper technique whenever you brush and floss with braces. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your gums and teeth are as healthy and happy as they can be!
Cleaning Teeth with Braces: Brushing
When learning the nuances of cleaning teeth with braces, it is vital to keep the goal of braces in mind: to straighten crooked or misaligned teeth and change the pacing of crowded teeth. It is essential to have straight, uncrowded teeth for aesthetic reasons, but they are equally important for maintaining good dental hygiene. When teeth are straight, it is, quite simply, much easier to reach and eliminate the plaque that causes tooth decay and dental cavities.
For the period of around 18 months that you will have braces, however, knowing how to clean teeth with braces properly is crucial. And the importance of brushing as a cleaning practice cannot be overstated. By developing a healthy brushing routine, you will maintain your dental health for years and decades to come.
At the Dental Center of Norcross, we recommend taking the following steps when brushing teeth with braces:
- Make sure that you have removed all of the parts of your braces that can be removed. This includes rubber bands and elastics.
- Gently brush around each bracket and wire with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Brush your teeth. At the Dental Center of Norcross, we recommend that all of our patients brush for at least two minutes, twice a day, but this may be a longer process when cleaning teeth with braces.
- Make sure you rinse your mouth thoroughly before you reapply and rubber bands or elastics.
Cleaning Teeth with Braces: Flossing
Most people hear from a very your age how essential flossing is to good oral health. There is little question that cleaning between your teeth is just as important a part of this process than cleaning the outer surfaces. Cleaning between your teeth when you have braces can be complicated, however. The steps below may seem tricky at first, but with a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
- Thread a strand of waxed dental floss that is approximately 18 inches long under the wire of your braces, between the brackets.
- Slowly but firmly move the floss up and down between your teeth, making sure to remove the plaque from the interior surfaces of both teeth.
- Unthread and move on to the next tooth, repeating until you have flossed all of your teeth.
Reach Out to the Dental Center of Norcross Today to Learn More
If you or a member of your family would benefit from learning more about cleaning teeth with braces, or if you would like to take advantage of any of our wide range of dental and orthodontic services, don’t hesitate. Contact the Dental Center of Norcross online today or call us at 678.504.6422.