Braces are devices that can correct misaligned and overcrowded teeth. They can also fix an abnormal bite. But, having braces requires upkeep.
You must clean your braces regularly in order to avoid plaque and bacteria buildup. Since braces make it more difficult for your toothbrush to reach some areas of your mouth, you need to use some additional measures to keep your mouth clean.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Eat the Right Diet
One of the simplest ways to keep your braces clean is to avoid eating the foods that can easily get stuck between your teeth or brackets. Here are some of the most common foods to avoid:
- Beef jerky
It can be challenging to give these things up. If you do decide to eat these foods, its best that you limit the amount and be extra careful when eating them.
Certain foods should be avoided because of the damage they can do to your teeth. Acidic drinks and foods can damage your tooth enamel. Sugary foods can put you at risk of cavities and eventually lead to tooth decay.
2. Get an Electric Toothbrush
Not all toothbrushes work the same. Standard toothbrushes aren’t going to be enough to properly clean your teeth. If you don’t have access to anything else, it will suffice, but try to get your hands on an electric toothbrush.
There are even some toothbrushes that are specially made for cleaning around braces. Spindle brushes help you remove the food that collects between your teeth and braces. Interdental brushes are perfect for cleaning between the teeth because they can be inserted into the spaces between your teeth.
When you brush, start by rinsing your mouth with water. This will loosen any food stuck in or around your braces. Brush beginning at the gum line and hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Make sure you brush both above and below the brackets. Once you’re finished brushing, rinse again.
3. Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing can be a bit tricky if you have braces. This is due to the wires blocking the gaps in between your teeth. However, flossing is an important step in your dental care routine.
There are several different flossing methods. You can go the simple route and wrap the floss around two of your fingers, or you can use a floss pick. A floss pick is a plastic stick with a small piece of floss on the end.
The best option for people with braces is a water flosser. It works by pushing water through the gaps of your teeth to remove built up food and plaque.
4. Always Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash is great to have your arsenal of dental care products. This is especially true when you have braces since you are more prone to plaque and food buildup. After you brush and floss, follow with mouthwash to remove any leftover bacteria. Mouthwash is also effective at expelling bad breath.
Use a mouthwash with fluoride to prevent dental conditions like gingivitis. There are many different types of mouthwashes on the market, so follow the instructions listed on the bottle of the one you use.
5. Salt Water Rinse
Dentists usually tell their patients to gargle salt water after getting their braces on. This is because it can ease soreness, reduce inflammation, and keep your teeth clean.
Salt water gargles don’t have to be an every-day part of your routine, but they can be beneficial to do every once in a while.
6. See Your Orthodontist Regularly
For as long as you have braces on your teeth, you should schedule regular appointments with your orthodontist so they can make adjustments. After these adjustment appointments, you may feel some soreness or pain. If the pain persists, you should consult your orthodontist.
If any parts of your braces break, visit your orthodontist immediately to fix the issue. If the appliance is not in perfect condition, it will not serve its purpose correctly. Here are some common problems that individuals with braces experience and ways to deal with them:
- Loose brackets: If you have a loose bracket, apply a small piece of orthodontic wax to reattach the bracket until you can visit your orthodontist. You can also place wax over the bracket to protect your gums.
- Broken wire: You can use the eraser of a pencil to reposition the wire if it is bothering you. If you’re unable to move it, apply wax to the sharp end. Do not try to cut the wire because you could potentially inhale or swallow it. If you get a sore from the wire poking you, do a salt water rinse.
- Loose bands: Make an appointment with your orthodontist to replace and re-cement the bands.
- Loose spacers: If your spacers fall out or move, they need to be replaced or repositioned as soon as possible.
7. Use Aloe Vera to Reduce Inflammation
When you tighten your braces, it can cause soreness and inflame your gums. Inflammation can lead to swelling and discomfort. To ease the inflammation, apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel to your gums. Aloe vera can also be used to eliminate bacteria in your mouth.
Because of the powerful antioxidants in aloe vera that fight free radicals, aloe vera can prevent against gum infections, gingivitis, or other mouth irritations. The aloe plant has been used for centuries because of its extraordinary healing benefits. Including it in your dental routine can prove to be very beneficial, especially after getting your braces or having them tightened.
Contact Vellore Woods Dentistry Today
If you think you are dealing with teeth misalignment or crowding, consider seeing an orthodontist and discussing braces. Vellore Woods Dentistry is a proud provider of exceptional dental care in the Woodbridge area.
Explore our services by clicking here or contact us by calling (905)-417-5550. We’d be happy to help you address any smile-related concerns.