Keeping your braces clean
How thorough is your daily dental routine?
When you have braces fitted, keeping a clean and healthy mouth should become top priority to ensure a life-long healthy smile. Braces make the teeth harder to clean, as they tend to trap food particles between the teeth and the braces. Extra care should be taken to adequately clean hard to reach spots and to prevent a build-up of bacteria in and around the brackets and wires. Insufficient cleaning while wearing braces can lead to excessive decay, cavities, discolouration and staining. Your orthodontist at AAA Orthodontics, in Strathpine and Albany Creek, will advise you of the most effective methods for maintaining a healthy mouth while you have braces.
Good oral hygiene routine
- Ensure careful brushing of the teeth after every meal, with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Rinse the mouth thoroughly after each meal with water and mouthwash, if possible. Rinse well especially after drinking sugary drinks, tea and coffee, with water and with mouthwash, if possible.
- Floss between the braces and the teeth, under the wires and between the brackets. Get special super floss or interdental brushes – designed specifically to clean in and around the braces. Your orthodontist will show you how to floss your braces to ensure you’re practising the most effective technique.
- Gargling with salt water helps eliminate bacteria and decay, and it can also help heal small abrasions in the mouth that may result from the brackets of your braces.
- Examine your mouth in the mirror after meals to ensure the teeth are clean.
- Ensure you maintain regular, 6-monthly dental cleans and don’t miss any of your scheduled visits to your orthodontist.
- Eat and drink healthy. Avoid eating hard foods that could cause breakages or put too much pressure on the wires and brackets of your braces. Avoid consuming drinks that can cause staining, like tea, coffee and artificially coloured foods and drinks. Also avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar and acid, as they promote bacteria and decay.
Practise this good brushing technique to ensure adequate cleaning of each and every tooth
- Ensure you clean each and every tooth individually
- Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to the point at which the tooth meets the gum line
- Apply gentle pressure as you move the brush back and forth in a circular motion
- Brush each tooth for about 10 seconds
- Don’t forget to brush the tongue to remove bacteria build-ups and to freshen the breath
- Use the same brushing action on all outer and inner tooth surfaces, tilting the brush as needed to better reach the insides of the front teeth.
Regular visits to your orthodontist
To ensure the treatment is progressing as it should ensure you attend regular orthodontic visits. Your orthodontist will check all the wires and brackets of your braces to ensure they are functioning as they should. You can also expect adjustments of the wires and elastics – these adjustments ensure the teeth are adjusting as they should. If these appointments are missed, it can lengthen the necessary treatment time, so it’s important that you attend all of your scheduled visits.
If you have chosen to invest in a straighter smile then you should invest the time it takes to adequately care for your braces. Get the most out of your orthodontic treatment and practise a good daily dental routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
For more information on getting the most out of your braces or to book an appointment, call us on 07 3325 0255.