Braces can do a fantastic job of straightening teeth to give you a more attractive smile. However, keeping any kind of orthodontics clean can be tricky, which means that people receiving orthodontic treatment are at an increased risk of developing tooth decay during their treatment. Here are a few tips that you can use to keep your braces clean to protect your teeth from decay.
1. Use a Suitable Toothbrush
Cleaning braces with a standard manual toothbrush can be difficult. Many dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush with a special orthodontic head. This kind of toothbrush head is designed to gently oscillate around the wires and brackets of the braces, removing food and plaque without causing any damage to the braces themselves.
2. Give Yourself More Time
Brushing your teeth can take a little longer when you have braces. Set your alarm a few minutes earlier so that you do not have to rush through your bathroom routine. Now you have time to systematically brush both above and below the wire of your braces to ensure you remove all plaque from the front surfaces of your teeth.
3. Do Not Forget the Backs of Your Teeth
When you have braces, it is easy to become so fixated on cleaning around the wires and brackets that are attached to the front surfaces of your teeth that you completely forget about their backs and bite surfaces. Be sure to devote plenty of time to brushing these parts of your teeth as well.
4. Clean Between Your Teeth
Flossing can be difficult when you have braces, but that does not mean that you should give up on cleaning between your teeth. Use an interdental brush to remove plaque from between your teeth every time you clean them. Removing this plaque lowers your risk of developing gum disease or tooth decay.
5. Rinse With Mouthwash
Even if you do not usually need to use mouthwash, it is a good habit to adopt when you have braces. Mouthwash can be swished into crevices of your teeth that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush or interdental brush. Choose one with fluoride to strengthen your teeth.
6. Make Tooth-Friendly Food Choices
When you have braces, it is more important than ever to eat a diet that supports your dental health. Try to cut back on sugar. You should also avoid foods that are likely to stick in your teeth, such as toffee, popcorn, and gummy candy.
Contact an orthodontist to learn more about caring for your teeth while you undergo orthodontic treatment.