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Making sure you teeth are completely clean is hard enough without gluing metal brackets onto each individual tooth and stringing those brackets together with metal wire. Braces make nearly everything about dental hygiene harder. Brushing becomes more difficult and flossing almost impossible. However difficult, it is crucial to keep teeth extra clean during the time you have braces. This is for several reasons:Woman brushing teeth

  • It’s easier for food to become trapped under your braces, and accordingly for your mouth to breed harmful bacteria.

  • Depending on your diet, your teeth can become stained leaving an imprint of your brackets on your teeth when they are removed. This sort of stain is a result of decalcification and remains on the teeth for life.

  • You’re more susceptible to gingivitis when wearing braces. This is because braces make it easier for plaque to build up on your teeth.

Luckily all of these issues can be prevented by taking a little extra time and putting in a little extra effort to making sure your braced smile gets the cleaning and attention it needs.

Working Around The Wires

After having your braces put on be sure to speak with your dentist or orthodontist about caring for you teeth during your treatment. Chances are they’ve seen it all, and can offer quite a few inside tips about how to make caring for your braces easier and more comfortable. Here are some helpful suggestions to remember:

  • Chances are your toothbrush might wear out a little faster when you have braces. Braces are made of harsh metal materials. The sharp edges of brackets and bands can wear down bristles more quickly than the smooth surface of your teeth. Be extra aware of the condition of your brush and expect to change it out a little more frequently than you would without braces!

  • Many people take the two times a day for two minutes rule and make it three times a day when being treated with braces. Your braces are perfectly designed to catch as much food in them during meals as possible. Leaving that food in your braces for hours before your next brush is detrimental to your oral hygiene. Instead pack a small travel toothbrush and excuse yourself to the restroom after a meal.

  • They might be a little harder to get to with braces on, but be sure to brush your gums the same way you would if you didn’t have braces!

  • Although flossing becomes more difficult with braces on it’s just as important to your oral health as it was before. There are numerous tools on the market aimed at making flossing with braces on easier. Many people use a floss threader, a big plastic, bendable needle, to thread the floss through their brackets and get all the spaces in between their teeth. It’s always a good idea to do this before bed when you have a little more time to complete the task properly.

When you have your braces you will not regret any of the extra time you put into caring for your teeth. Call Dr. D’Alfonso of Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today and schedule a free consultation!