Maintaining a regular dental hygiene is an important part of your daily life; however, doing so with braces may be even more important for your smile’s health and appearance. For patients who have braces, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment by brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal. We understand that normal dental hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, may be more difficult with braces than without. If you would like some help picking out toothpaste, floss, and a toothbrush that will work best, we invite you to contact Full Smile Orthodontics at 760.804.0080. Our friendly orthodontist and team would be happy to help! We want to ensure that your smile stays healthy when you get your braces in Carlsbad, California, from Dr. Daniel Adams!
Brushing With Braces
When you brush your teeth, be sure to brush for a full 2 minutes, just like you would without your braces. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head; this will allow you to reach all areas of your mouth. Also use fluoride toothpaste to help protect your teeth and re-mineralize your enamel. If you prefer, you can use an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one.
No matter which type of toothbrush you decide to use, always brush the outside surface of your teeth in small circular motions, pointing the toothbrush head at about a 45-degree angle towards your gums. Brush the inside (or tongue-side) and biting surfaces of your teeth with short back-and-forth strokes. Do not brush too hard, as this can irritate your gums. Be sure to also pay close attention to the areas of your teeth that are around your brackets or other appliances. Brush after every meal, when possible. Brushing regularly and keeping your brackets clean will help ensure that your teeth stay healthy throughout your treatment.
Flossing With Braces
When possible, you should floss after every meal. This will help keep your braces free of food debris and your teeth clean, which ultimately helps ensure that your treatment stays on track. Flossing with braces is a little different than normal flossing. To help get the floss behind your wire and between your teeth, you may need a floss threader or a special orthodontic flosser (www.harporthoflosser.com has some great options).
Once your floss is threaded behind your wire, wrap one end of the floss around a pointer finger, and the other end of the floss around the other pointer finger. Leave only a few inches in between your fingers. Gently slide the few inches of floss in between two teeth, pulling the floss in a back and forth motion. Be sure to floss the sides of each tooth, and move the floss a little into the gum line to remove any hiding plaque, bacteria, or food. Repeat this process in between each set of teeth, until all of your teeth have been flossed.
If you find that flossing does not help remove food debris around your braces and in between your teeth, talk with our orthodontist and team about what you can do. We may recommend that you use a waterpik, which we are happy to provide at our office!