Braces are a common orthodontic treatment because of their durability and efficiency in fixing orthodontic issues. But, they can cause a build-up of plaque, unless you implement an excellent oral hygiene routine. Here, our Langley orthodontists share tips on how you can brush your teeth with braces.
Remember the 45 Degree Rule
Remember the 45-degree rule when brushing your braces. On the lower teeth, point your brush slightly upwards to get under the groove of the bracket, and downwards for the top teeth. Most food will get stuck on the sides of your braces, in between your cheek and teeth. Start the habit of flossing your teeth or using a toothpick after you eat; this can make brushing a bit easier.
Treat Your Brackets Like They Are Part Of Your Tooth
Don’t allow plaque to build up in the areas that are next to your brackets because this could cause tooth discoloration or lead to cavities between teeth. The brackets and wires will create more grooves for bacteria to settle and multiply. You can help prevent this by brushing your teeth after every meal. You can still floss with braces, but use dental floss that has hard tips or flossing lassos to get under the wire. We also recommend using a toothbrush that has harder bristles, so they don’t get stuck in or damaged by your brackets.
Make Healthy Decisions
You can start preventing plaque by making healthier choices for your snacks and meals. You don’t have to make any drastic changes to your diet with braces although, you should consider limiting foods that will make it harder for you to brush and floss. Some examples include jerky, licorice, popcorn, and taffy, all of which can have a higher chance of getting stuck in your braces than other foods. By avoiding a shortlist of tough-to-eat and sticky foods, your daily brushing and flossing routine will be easier. Ask your orthodontist which foods they recommend avoiding.