We’ve heard it all before…proper oral hygiene is the key to ensuring the health of our teeth and gums. But how can you make sure you’re going about it the right way when you have braces?
Braces make it a little more challenging to properly brush and floss; however, failing to do so can have some unappealing consequences. You’ll need to be sure you’re tackling your oral hygiene correctly and putting it at the forefront of your mind, especially if you have braces. Braces increase the number of places bacteria can hide in the mouth. Here is the right way to brush and floss with braces.
Proper Brushing Techniques
It’s your personal preference whether you choose to brush with a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. Many orthodontists and dental professionals recommend the electric varieties, simply because they are easy to operate and include a lot of benefits, but ultimately it is up to you. Be sure you’re using a brush with softer bristles as to not do any damage to your brackets and wires, and if you’ve opted for an electric toothbrush with variable settings, be sure you use the moderate setting when you brush.
It’s important to brush at least twice each day and after meals if you’re able for about two minutes each session, using a quality toothpaste with fluoride. Be sure to get all surfaces of the mouth, including:
- Front, back and sides of teeth
- Tongue and cheeks
- Roof of mouth
- Between braces wires and teeth
Make small circular motions and be sure you’re getting all areas of the mouth to prevent the build-up of bacteria.
How to Floss Correctly
Flossing at least once per day is recommended; however, if you can floss after eating, even better. A floss threader is specially designed to work around the wires on braces so you can be effective in your flossing efforts. Be sure to get in between all teeth and floss up to the gum line with each movement. This will help rid your mouth of any food particles or bacteria trying to hide between your teeth.
The Importance of Proper Brushing and Flossing Habits
There’s no doubt about it…proper oral hygiene is important at all points of life. If you fail to properly brush and floss, especially with braces, you’re setting yourself up for problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Braces do make this a bit more difficult, since there are now extra objects in the mouth, but if you take a little extra time with your oral hygiene routine and put in a little extra effort, you’ll thank yourself for it later. Remember, we only get one smile and it’s our job to protect it and make it shine for years to come.