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How To Care For Your Braces

A smile with braces brushing teeth

Whether you're a kid or an adult, the last thing that you want when your orthodontist finally takes your braces off is to see a perfectly straight smile that's riddled with tooth decay. That's why maintaining a consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine is a crucial part of your orthodontic treatment, since it makes sure that your new smile is a healthy smile. To make sure that you don't have to make a trip to the dentist when you've finished with your braces, Dr. Eves and our team put together this guide on the proper way to brush your teeth when you're in braces.

Getting The Right Toothbrush

At the core of your oral hygiene routine is the tool that pick for the job. Since our goal is to clear away all the food particles and bacteria that are building up in the tiny crevices in your braces and in between your teeth, you want a brush that has bristles designed to fit in those tight paces. We recommend getting a soft, micro bristle toothbrush, since you can't get smaller than micro bristles. Not only is this brush gentle on your gums, its tiny bristles can get in the smallest spaces in your braces to clear away all of that gunk and leave your mouth perfectly clean.

Can I Use An Electric Toothbrush With My Braces?

While electric toothbrushes do provide a very thorough clean, with the vibrations that help loosen up trapped bacteria and debris, we typically advise against using an electric toothbrush with your braces for one big reason: they can damage the brackets and wires. Even if the bristles are soft, the backs of electric toothbrush heads are hard, and with the rapid movement of the brush head, the wrong move could end up knocking a bracket right off of your teeth. Since we definitely don't want you to have an extra appointment with Dr. Eves just to get your braces fixed, it's safer just going with a standard toothbrush.

Proper Brushing Technique With Braces

We can go on and on about what the perfect brushing technique is, but we'll just keep it simple. First, tilt your brush at a 45 degree angle so the bristles are pointed at your gums, and then start moving the brush around in small circles, brushing your braces, teeth, and the gum line. The next and only other step is to use that technique as you bring your brush across all of your teeth both front and back. If you skip areas of your mouth, the only person you'd be hurting is yourself, since you'll be leaving behind harmful bacteria that will eat away at your smile. Make sure you take the time to brush thoroughly. If it helps, the recommended time for brushing your teeth is about 2 minutes.

Finish With Floss & Mouthwash

We know that we said we were going to be focusing on brushing, but the fact of the matter is that brushing just isn't enough to keep your smile clean and free from the bacteria that's trying to destroy it. That's why your oral hygiene routine should always include a thorough flossing and rinse with mouthwash. If you have difficulty flossing with your braces, you can get a floss threader, which will slide through the arch wire to make things a bit easier. As for mouthwash, we recommend the kind that has fluoride, since it's a magical mineral that restores nutrients to your teeth and gums to keep them strong and healthy.

Get Your Perfect Smile With Tollgate Orthodontics!

If you have questions about how to maintain your oral hygiene routine while you're in braces, Dr. Eves and our team here at Tollgate Orthodontics are here to help. Just contact us by phone or email and a member of our staff will be able to assist you with everything you need, including scheduling your next appointment with us. You can even make your appointment online with our appointment request form which takes no time to complete; just hit submit and you're good to go. Whether you're from Jamestown, Warwick, or East Greenwich, the quality orthodontic care that your family deserves is always close to home. We look forward to seeing you in one of our offices soon!