You have braces and can’t wait to see your new smile. But, if you want impressive results, you must take care of your teeth and braces. This means brushing properly and following the advice of experts who know how to help you achieve a great mouth.
When you have braces, brushing your teeth is more difficult and can take more time. But, when you see your successful results, it will be all worth it!
At our orthodontic office, we have seen many stunning results from braces patients. And we’ve helped create more than 10,000 beautiful smiles. (See some of our treatment results online.)
Now, imagine what your mouth could look like if you cared for it the right way…
Why it’s important to brush your teeth with braces:
Taking the time and effort to keep your braces and teeth clean is important. Doing so will help you avoid problems, such as tooth decay, inflamed gums, and tooth decalcification.
If you don’t practice proper brushing, you risk having discolored teeth, cavities, or swollen and infected gum tissue. We know you don’t want this.
So here’s something you need to know: It’s up to you to keep your mouth healthy. Only you can make a commitment to care for your teeth daily.
And for children with braces, parents should teach their kids the importance of caring for their teeth and encourage them to keep their mouths clean every day.
Key Takeaway: When you have braces, brushing your teeth is critical if you want a healthy, beautiful smile.
Our Alpharetta orthodontist, Dr. Jeffrey Jordan, has been providing excellent care for 25 years. And he understands how difficult brushing with braces can be.
Our office knows that brushing with braces can seem almost impossible at first. You may feel like you can’t get into all the spaces between your brackets. Or that it takes too much time to brush your teeth. That’s why, at Jordan Orthodontics, we have some expert tips to share with you.
Follow our seven tips for brushing your teeth with braces, and we know you or you’re child will be pleased with the results.
Brushing with Braces Tip #1: Brush your teeth and braces every day.
Food particles and plaque (a sticky, colorless film of bacteria) can stick to your braces and teeth, especially when you have braces. If you don’t brush your teeth or practice proper technique, gingivitis can form in as little as 48 hours. That’s why daily brushing is critical for maintaining dental health.
The American Dental Association advises brushing after every meal (including snacks), and we agree. We also suggest you brush your teeth before you go to sleep as well.
Here’s how to practice proper tooth brushing with braces:
- Rinse your mouth out with water first to get some of the loose food particles out of your mouth.
- Rinse your toothbrush with hot water to clear any food particles.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes. Be sure to brush between the wiring and the teeth. You also want to brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces.
- Brush your teeth thoroughly for at least two to three minutes.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
And if for some reason you can’t brush your teeth after you eat, you should drink lots of water and swish your mouth out with water. Taking this action will wash away some of the food and sugar and prevent potential damage to your teeth.
Have any questions about how to brush your teeth with braces? Our professional and friendly orthodontic staff would love to help you. Contact us and let us know what dental questions you want answered.
Key Takeaway: When you have braces, brushing your teeth properly after every meal is important for maintaining a healthy mouth.
Brushing with Braces Tip #2: Floss your teeth every day.
Flossing is also a critical step for keeping your teeth healthy and ensuring you get the results you want.
Flossing with braces is mostly the same as normal flossing. There is one difference, though: You must thread the floss under the archwire and between the teeth. A floss threader (which looks like a large plastic needle) can make this step easier.
Here’s how the process works:
- Thread the floss under the archwire.
- Remove the threader.
- Floss each side of each tooth in the space.
- Pull the floss out of the space with one hand as you release the floss with your other hand.
- Repeat this method between all of your teeth.
It’s a good idea to floss at the end of the day; this way you won’t miss any food particles trapped in your teeth.
Once again, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask during your orthodontic appointment or contact one of our experts today.
Key Takeaway: Flossing daily is important when you have braces. You should floss as normal but also be sure to floss under the archwire and between the teeth.
Brushing with Braces Tip #3: Avoid whitening products when you have braces.
While you are wearing braces, you shouldn’t use whitening products — this means no whitening toothpaste or whitening mouthwash.
The reason for this is because the whitening product will only work on the place it touches, meaning you’ll have uneven color when your braces get removed.
Key Takeaway: When you have braces, it’s important not to use whitening products or you’ll risk having uneven color on your teeth when you get your braces off.
Brushing with Braces Tip 4: Use the right toothbrush.
When you have braces, you want to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent gum damage and wear on your teeth.
At Jordan Orthodontics, we recommend our patients use a Proxabrush, which is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you can use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. If you choose this option, it’s important to use this tool gently to avoid damaging your wires.
Key Takeaway: The right toothbrush that isn’t too hard is important when you have braces to help prevent damage to your teeth.
Brushing with Braces Tip #5: Use a mouth rinse to keep your mouth healthy with braces.
At our orthodontist office, we recommend Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, which will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks and helps to prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. It also helps the mouth heal.
Here’s how it works: Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons (half a capful) of Peroxyl for one minute and then spit it out. You can use this mouth rinse up to four times daily following your schedule for brushing: after meals and before bed.
Key Takeaway: Using a mouth rinse daily will help heal your mouth and keep it healthy.
Brushing with Braces Tip #6: Use fluoride.
Fluoride strengthens the enamel of teeth. It also prevents your teeth from becoming damaged and prevents tooth decay.
At our Atlanta-area orthodontist office, we recommend Phos-Flur, a sodium fluoride gel to help prevent tooth decay while wearing braces. This gel kills bacteria and replaces minerals in tooth enamel due to exposure to harmful acids. You should use this product following your daily schedule at bedtime.
Here’s how it works: Place a small strip of Phos-Flur on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. After doing this, you should not eat or drink for 30 minutes. The reason for this is because it’s important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes.
Key Takeaway: Fluoride can help people with braces by preventing damage and tooth decay.
Brushing with Braces Tip #7: Be sure not to over-brush your teeth.
Brushing regularly is important, but it is possible to brush your teeth too much. Over-brushing, known as toothbrush abrasion, can lead to sensitive teeth and receding gums.
Between 10 to 20 percent of the population have damaged their teeth as a result of over-brushing, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Vigorous brushing can wear down the enamel, as well as damage and push back the gums, possibly leading to other dental problems, such as periodontal disease and cavities on the roots of the teeth. That’s why it’s important not to use medium- or hard-bristled toothbrushes when you have brace especially.
Consider this: It’s not important how hard you scrub when you are brushing your teeth; what is important is proper technique and thorough cleaning. If you are squashing the bristles, you are brushing too hard.
Key Takeaway: Brushing regularly is important if you have braces, but you don’t want to over-brush by brushing too hard or with an improper toothbrush or you risk causing damage and other dental problems to your teeth.
Professional check-ups and cleanings are important when you have braces
If you have braces or your children have braces, it’s important to practice proper daily cleaning and care — But it’s also necessary to schedule regular appointments with your orthodontist to ensure your teeth are clean and correcting the way they should.
Our experienced orthodontist Dr. Jeffrey Jordan in Alpharetta can help you and your family achieve an amazing smile you’ll be proud to show off.
We offer many braces options to fit your unique situation, from traditional metal braces and ceramic braces to clear aligners that you can wear to improve your teeth.
Schedule your braces appointment today or set-up a free braces consultation with our award-winning orthodontic practice. Call 770-751-1240 now. We want to help you and your family achieve healthy, beautiful smiles you will love.