If you wear traditional metal braces, it can be challenging to keep your teeth clean. But it’s especially important to focus on brushing thoroughly while wearing braces, so you can avoid tooth decay and inflamed gums. Just think how disappointing it would be to finally have your braces removed only to find that you need fillings and/or crowns to fix cavities that have formed as a result of not brushing enough while you wore your braces! While brushing is definitely harder with braces, there are some techniques you can use to ensure that your brushing is effective.

  • First and foremost – brush at least twice a day. Wearing braces can make it easier for food particles to become trapped between your braces and your teeth. That can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. And all that can happen faster than you might imagine! That’s why it’s especially important to be diligent about your brushing routine.
  • Brush properly. With braces, that means starting by rinsing your mouth out with water, which will wash away some of the food particles. Then, after applying a good quality toothpaste to your toothbrush (which should have soft bristles), hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Move the brush gently in a back and forth motion, making sure to brush not only the teeth, but between the wires and the teeth. Repeat this on both the front and back of your teeth. Brush for at least two or three minutes, and brush your tongue as well.
  • After brushing, floss. This can also be a challenge, but it’s extremely important to maintain good oral health while you wear your braces. When you floss with braces, you’ll need to thread your floss under the arch wire of your braces and between your teeth. The best way to do this is with a floss threader. (If you don’t have one, ask your dentist.)
  • Consider using a water flosser. Many people who wear braces find using a water flosser to be a much easier way to floss teeth than with traditional floss. There are several brands available. And although you may be hesitant to make the initial investment, remember that a water flosser will be an excellent addition to your regular oral hygiene routine after your braces are removed as well.
  • Wash your mouth out with water after eating. If you can’t brush right away, this will help to remove food particles that would otherwise be caught between your teeth and in your braces.

Braces are a major investment, and worth every penny. Before long, you’ll be able to enjoy a straighter, more beautiful smile. Just be sure to take care of your teeth and gums while your braces are doing their work!

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