Wearing braces can be painful, so it’s no wonder teeth-cleaning drops off during this time. That said, having a diligent teeth-cleaning routine is essential when wearing braces, plus, it can help get you into good teeth-cleaning habits for life!
Brushing with braces
Brushing your teeth each day is important, but it’s really important while wearing braces. Braces are great at collecting little bits of food that can cause plaque to build up, so it’s best to brush after every meal. Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to brush with braces:
Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards your gums and brush down along the gum line.
Brush downwards along the top of the braces.
Hold the brush under the braces and brush upwards to clean the bottom of the braces.
Generally, electric toothbrushes or soft-headed toothbrushes are better for accessing hard-to-reach areas.
Flossing with braces
Flossing is one of the most effective ways of removing food stuck between teeth and braces. If you find it tricky flossing, try threaders or interdental brushes. These are tiny brushes that can get into the crevices of your teeth and braces. Here are a few tips on how to floss correctly:
Brush your teeth thoroughly.
Get a long piece of floss and thread one end between the wire and your teeth. Wrap each end around your index fingers so you have control of the floss to prevent damaging your gums.
Gently glide the floss in-between your teeth so it slides up the tooth to hug it.
Continue this motion gently for each tooth.
Eating with braces
Taking care with what you eat can help prevent damage to your braces.
Foods to avoid...
Crunchy foods are generally not a good idea as they can break or bend the wires of braces, while chewy foods can get stuck in the brackets causing the braces to dislodge from your teeth.
- Hard or chewy lollies
- Raw carrots
Foods to enjoy...
Your mouth can feel sore and sensitive when wearing braces, especially if you’ve just had them applied or adjusted. Softer foods are generally much easier and more enjoyable to eat.
- Mashed potatoes
- Cottage cheese
For more information on caring for your teeth with braces, chat to your dentist or orthodontist.