Keep Your Braces Clean and Your Mouth Healthy
Getting braces can be an exciting time, since you’re finally going to be making progress towards the beautiful smile and straight teeth that you’ve always wanted. Certainly, there is definitely a lot to look forward to at the end of your treatment, but many patients have concerns about how much work it will be to make sure that their braces stay clean and their mouth stays healthy throughout their treatment.
Fortunately, taking care of braces and orthodontics is a very simple process, and with a few simple tips and a couple of helpful products you’ll be an expert in no time. In order to help you learn the ins and outs of how to keep your braces clean, we’ve compiled this article which will explain exactly what you need to know to ensure you get the best results from your orthodontic treatment.
We’ll cover the essentials on how to clean different types of braces, as well as provide some recommendations on products that you can use to make things even easier as part of your regular oral hygiene routine. You can be sure that taking good care of your braces isn’t that much more complicated than what you’re already doing to take care of your teeth, and you’ll pick up the new techniques fast.
First, let’s take a quick look at why having braces means that you need to use some new methods as part of your oral care, and how these may change depending on the type of braces that you get.
Why do braces need special cleaning habits?
Your natural teeth already have lots of nooks and crannies that you need to clean thoroughly in order to remove food remnants and bacteria, but when you have braces, you’ve got a bit more work cut out for you. You’ll need to go over, under, around, and through the brackets, wires, and bands that are attached to your teeth to ensure that there are no errant bits of food or pockets of bacteria that could cause stains, bad breath, or tooth decay.
If you are not diligent with your oral hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment, you may end up with discoloration or staining around the areas where the brackets are fastened to your teeth, and as a result you may need to undergo an additional cleaning or whitening treatment in order to correct this.
At the end of the day, it simply comes down to the fact that you have more surfaces, corners, and spaces that need to be cleaned, and using the right habits, tools, and techniques will help make sure that your mouth stays healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment and gives you the best possible results at the end.
Differences between traditional braces and Invisalign
Of course, not all styles of braces are exactly the same. You are probably familiar with common types of metal braces or ceramic braces. These are the styles of braces that include brackets, wires, and bands affixed to your teeth with elastic bands, but you may not know that there is another method of orthodontic treatment known as Invisalign. This method of straightening teeth relies on clear plastic aligners that are worn on the teeth and can easily be removed and replaced by the wearer.
Because the clear plastic Invisalign aligners are able to be removed at whim, your normal oral care routine won’t really change, with the exception of needing to clean and wash the aligners themselves. However, this is very simple to do as you can remove them to conduct a thorough cleaning, and then simply replace the aligner in your mouth when you are done.
If you’d like to learn more about the Invisalign system, read our Guide to Invisalign Braces.
Helpful Tools and Supplies for Cleaning Braces
While most of your existing oral care supplies and products will still be needed as part of your routine for cleaning your braces, there are a few other products that can make things easier and more effective. Here are some of the most helpful supplies you may want to have on-hand to help clean your braces.
Floss Threaders – One of the best ways to ensure that you remove all the hidden food particles and bacteria from the different areas of your braces is to floss around the brackets and wires. However, it can be frustrating to try and get the floss in to the right places. Floss threaders help make this much simpler by guiding the floss through any gaps or spaces with ease.
Soft Gum Pick – Along with flossing, having a gentle, soft gum pick with a tapered tip will help you get in to hard-to-reach spaces and get things even cleaner. The soft end of the gum pick will ensure that you don’t run the risk of hurting your gums or damaging any part of your braces.
Water Flossers – If you want to go all-out on your oral care routine and keep your braces perfectly clean, a water flosser is the way to go. These handy gadgets use squirts of water to clean all the gaps and spaces in your braces and teeth, while simultaneously massaging your gums.
Proper Cleaning Techniques for Braces and Orthodontics
To make sure that you’re getting a thorough clean for your braces and teeth during your orthodontic treatment, we recommend following these simple steps as you go through your regular oral care habits.
Start with a good brushing – Always give your mouth a good cleaning with your toothbrush to start things off. This will help dislodge dirt and bacteria scrub away stains. Soft-bristled brushes are best, as they are less likely to cause any irritation of your gums as you brush. Your dentist may recommend an electric toothbrush to provide an even more effective cleaning, but make sure to check with them to ensure that there are no potential complications that may arise with your braces and your style of electric toothbrush.
Floss to clean the gaps – Flossing is the best way to get any hard-to-reach food particles or bacteria from between your teeth and around your braces. Be sure to floss all the spaces in your teeth and braces, top and bottom. Use your water flosser if you have one to help speed things up and get a nice gum massage at the same time.
Use an oral rinse – Finish off your routine with an oral rinse as recommended by your dentist to help flush away any particles that were dislodged and help to eliminate additional bacteria from your teeth, gums, tongue, and braces.
Learn More About Proper Care of Braces and Orthodontics
While this guide is intended to help you develop a good set of oral care habits and ensure that your braces stay clean throughout the duration of your orthodontic treatment, you orthodontist may have additional recommendations for you.
If you’d like to learn more about taking care of your braces and ensure that you are following the best procedures as part of your orthodontic treatment, contact the team at Georgian Dental® today and speak with one of our professionals.
We are happy to help guide you and provide answers to any questions that you may have. We’re confident that if you stick to a good routine of sensible dental care habits, you will be pleased with the results you get from your braces at the end of your treatment.