cleaning braces

Protect Your Investment: How To Clean Braces

Braces are a significant investment for people who need to straighten their teeth and for their dental health. Too much time with the metal brackets on your teeth might promote bacterial accumulation, which can result in dental issues. Thus, it’s crucial to properly clean your teeth after every meal to prevent decay, reduce plaque buildup, and maintain the cleanliness of your braces.

Braces have microscopic grooves that catch food fragments that are not broken down and cause plaque to build up around them. Plaque and germs frequently gather in these crevices, especially if the brackets are left in your mouth for a long time. Orthodontics product manufacturers construct brackets to be removable. This allows you to clean them with toothbrushes and floss, removing debris and plaque. Also, you can remove the extra brackets used during orthodontic treatments and replace them after a few days.

How To Clean Braces

Cleaning your mouth after eating food or drinking liquids is one of the most important things you can do to promote dental health. Without doing so, plaque will accumulate on your teeth and may result in decay or gum disease. People with braces are at a higher risk for problems because food and liquids can accumulate between the metal brackets. While doing this after every meal is essential, you should be encouraged to clean your braces at least once daily, even if it’s not after every meal, to get rid of plaque and tartar.

1. Floss

Floss and interdental cleaners are great tools that you can use to clean the sides of your teeth and your braces to prevent tooth decay caused by plaque accumulation. They are beneficial in areas that are difficult to reach. This is essential to clean your teeth because brushing only cleans what you can see, and hidden plaque might not be flushed out. Different types of floss are designed for other braces, and we recommend getting a set with removable wire.

But there are other types of floss you should consider using. It is also important to floss in between your archwire and brackets. Plaque can build up along the wires, causing bacteria buildup and leading to dental health problems. Thus, you incur the same issues if you do not regularly clean these areas.

Tips To Make Flossing Braces Easier

Maintaining dental health and cleaning your mouth to remove plaque are very important for people with braces or dentures. It would be best to floss regularly to ensure bacteria do not form in your teeth. When you have braces, interdental cleaners will be a great cleaning tool to help you maintain your teeth’ health. Interdental cleaners are designed with brush tips and tapered bristles to easily reach between spaces in your teeth and brackets to remove plaque buildup at the gum line.

Use the Right Tool

An orthodontic floss threader is an excellent tool for flossing braces for better oral hygiene and a fresh mouth. It has a sharp threaded end and a handle that can be used for squeezing and twisting—the floss threader’s tapered bristles help separate plaque from your teeth and brackets. The right tool for the job makes cleaning and removing plaque deposits easier.

Help Younger Children Floss

It can be more challenging for children to do everything correctly when cleaning their teeth with braces. If your child is younger and needs help flossing, you must do it yourself so that they can learn how. You must get a floss threader and guide them through the process since plaque build-up could be fatal for kids. 

Use Waxed Floss

Waxed floss is a good option for people with braces because it is durable, flexible, and does not shred when you use it. It is also best for people with orthodontic wires on their brackets or teeth to prevent plaque accumulation. Braces wire can be sharp when it is new, and these wires can cut into floss that isn’t prepared to handle the pressure.

2. Oral Irrigation Systems

Your mouth is full of bacteria caused by plaque constantly growing and multiplying. This bacteria will begin to eat away at the acids and sugars in your teeth, which may eventually lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Oral irrigators flush out plaque and are an effective method for cleaning your braces. After each meal, cleaning your mouth with an oral irrigator will ensure your mouth remain plaque free and healthy. 

Cleaning places where floss can’t reach, such as in between your teeth, will be more accessible with an oral irrigator. In the past, dentists used to recommend gargling with mouthwash after you eat. However, the American Dental Association has recently changed its stance on this recommendation due to concerns about the alcohol content of most mouthwash formulations. For people who can’t tolerate floss, cleaning braces with an oral irrigator is a viable alternative. A proper mouth cleaning routine can help you prevent problems with your braces, such as gum disease or tooth decay.

3. Brushing Your Teeth and Brackets

Braces, like any other metallic object, will collect germs and bacteria the more time you wear them. It could get to the point where you are growing bacteria colonies from food particles, which can cause various dental issues. To prevent this from happening, you should brush your teeth after every meal.

The type of toothbrush that you use is a matter of personal preference. It should be noted, however, that soft-bristled toothbrushes are generally better for dental health than those with medium or hard bristles. You should also be careful not to use overly abrasive toothpaste designed for whitening. Most dentists recommend fluoride-based toothpaste, which may vary depending on your needs.

Importance of proper brushing routine 

Proper brushing should be part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Forty-five-degree angles are recommended for brushing the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth and the gum line. As you brush, you should be painting the surface of your teeth with toothpaste and not just moving the brush in circles. 

Cleaning in a circular motion, back and forth, and all surfaces in your mouth ensures that all areas are adequately cleaned clear of plaque and that the brush is not just passing over the same area repeatedly. This results in braces and gums being cleaned effectively, which can reduce the risk of tooth decay due to plaque build-up. With cleaning in these areas, you can avoid buildup and debris staying behind on their surfaces. This may result in bacteria becoming trapped or even causing irritation or discomfort to gum tissue, leading to an infection or other issues with your mouth.

4. Fluoride Treatment and Germ Killers

Cleaning your mouth and braces with toothpaste and water will do an excellent job of keeping the plaque-causing tooth problems away, but you can also use a fluoride treatment. Most toothpaste contains fluoride to help prevent cavities and promote healthy teeth. This can be used on your braces to ensure they stay nice and clean. You should follow your dentist’s instructions when using these products, as they can burn or irritate your gums if misused.

Consider using germ-killer products in addition to fluoride. Mouth rinse kills germs in your mouth that might otherwise cause tooth decay. A mouthwash can also do this more effectively than rinsing with a cloth and water, which only clears plaque buildup. To find the best treatment for your teeth, talk to your dentist about where you should go for care.

Protecting your smile and your investment

Seeking professional cleaning is one way to care for your braces. By taking care of them, you will be able to retain the smile that you have worked so hard to achieve. Not only can you avoid tooth decay and gum disease, but you can also avoid more severe problems such as infection or bone loss. Our rewarding orthodontic care provides far more than a smile; it is a key to happiness and good oral health. Contact Vondran Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you achieve your desired smile. 

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