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Brushing With Braces

Routine oral hygiene is important, especially when you have braces. Although a great option for straightening your teeth, braces have the potential for creating excess plaque buildup. In this post, our Manitoba orthodontist will explain how you can effectively brush with braces to maintain your oral health. 

Start by Rinsing Your Mouth

To begin, remove any elastics, bands, or removable orthodontic parts from your mouth and store them in a secure location away from your mouth. After that, take a cup and fill it halfway with water before rinsing your mouth out with the water. Food particles and other things can be freed by swishing a small amount of water around the inside of your mouth.

Adhere to the 45-Degree Rule

When brushing your braces, remember to follow the 45-degree rule. Brush the bottom teeth slightly upwards to get under the groove of the bracket, and the top teeth slightly downwards to go under the groove of the bracket as well. Food will become caught on the sides of your braces and in between your cheek and teeth the majority of the time. Develop the practice of cleaning your teeth after meals with a toothpick or floss. This should make brushing less difficult.

Treat the Brackets Like Part of the Tooth

Do not let plaque accumulate in the areas next to the brackets, as this may result in discolouration of the tooth or cavities in the spaces between teeth.

Your brackets and cables will create additional crevices for bacteria to settle in and proliferate in as a result of your installation. To help prevent this, aim to brush after each meal so as to immediately remove any leftover food particles that could create plaque.

Flossing is still possible when wearing braces. However, you must use dental floss with firm points or flossing lassos to reach under the wire. You may also require a toothbrush with stiffer bristles in order to avoid the bristles becoming trapped in or damaged by your brackets.

Make Healthy Choices

When you wear braces, you don't have to substantially alter your diet, but there are certain foods that are best avoided as they can make it more difficult to keep your teeth clean. Corn kernels, licorice, gummy candy, jerky, and taffy, to name a few things, can become trapped in your braces more easily than other foods.

When you stay away from this small list of sticky and difficult-to-eat foodstuffs, your regular brushing routine will simply be easier. To find out which meals you should avoid, talk to your orthodontist about what you should and shouldn't eat.

Don't Rush It

It is recommended that you thoroughly clean your teeth for a minimum of two minutes twice a day, every day. You can try using a proxabrush if you're having problems reaching all of the surfaces of your teeth because of the wires and braces in your mouth. Because of its small size and flexibility, it may be used to clean under and around braces and other orthodontic appliances.

If you still have questions about your braces and how to keep them clean, feel free to contact our Manitoba dental office for a consultation.

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