It’s really important to keep your teeth, brace and gums as clean as possible during your orthodontic treatment. Allowing plaque to collect around your teeth and brace will cause your gums to become sore and puffy. Your teeth can be damaged by decay, so you must brush your teeth and brace at least twice a day, ideally after meals and before going to bed at night. Even if you’re away from home, you must still clean your teeth, brace and gums after meals.
Normal Tooth Brushing
Start between the wire and gums, press firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between your teeth. Move the brush head around all the teeth. Repeat the same process on the other side of the wire. Now clean all the inside surfaces of your teeth. Last of all, clean the tops of the biting surfaces of the teeth. Here we recommend an Orthodontic Tuft Toothbrush for you to use. There are pointed head toothbrush which is ideal for retro-lined teeth, lingual braces, retainers, or implants.
If you use a power toothbrush then you can continue to do so, just follow the same procedure as you would using a normal toothbrush. Rinse with a little water after brushing. You don’t need to rinse all the toothpaste out of your mouth as the fluoride in the toothpaste will help keep the teeth healthy. Meyarn Sonic Electric Toothbrush has special orthodontic type brush head, which is perfectly designed for people with braces. It can get hard-to-reach areas where regular toothbrushes can’t.
Your interdental brushes remove plaque and food court under the wires and between the brackets where the normal toothbrush can’t reach. Use these brushes after brushing with the orthodontic toothbrush. There’s a range of different sized brushes so pick the ones that suit you. Use a mirror to make sure you’re putting the brush in the right places. Interdental brushes can get to hard-to-reach area that regular toothbrushes cannot. They’re perfect for orthodontic appliances, implants, and bridges.
Using a two-minute timer will make sure you’re brushing for the correct amount of time, but remember to use it twice. Two minutes on the top teeth and two minutes on the bottom teeth. If you currently floss and would like to continue to do so, you can do with the use of a floss threader. You can also use a water flosser to clean your teeth after meals, which will help you to get rid of all food debris. Use a fluoride mouth rinse after brushing last thing at night to reduce the risk of decay.
Disclosing tablets are also very useful to show where the plaque is collecting so that you can clean more effectively. Chew half a tablet into tiny pieces. Don’t swallow. Use your tongue to move the bits around your mouth for about a minute. Spit out. Rinse gently with water and spit out again. Look in the mirror, any plaque will be highlighted. You can use the tablets before brushing to show any plaque deposits and after brushing to show how well you’re brushing your teeth. If your braces are rubbing or scratching the inside of your mouth or lips, use brace relief wax to protect your lips and cheeks.
Hints & Tips
Braces are very delicate so you mustn’t bite into anything hard or chewy because this will cause the brackets to come off the teeth. So it’s best to avoid eating for example, crusty rolls, crisps, pizza crusts or any very hard crunchy foods. Cut up hard fruit like apples into small pieces before eating and don’t be tempted to chew on your pens and pencils. Fizzy drinks will make your teeth decay under the braces. Avoid sugary snacks between meals. Remember to continue to see your general dentist for regular check-ups whilst you’re wearing your braces.
And finally, if you damage your brace then contact your orthodontist practice as soon as possible. Don’t wait for your next appointment. Remember, a broken brace will not straighten your teeth. If you’re experiencing problems with your brace and need out-of-hours advice then your orthodontist may be able to give you a telephone number to call in times of emergency.