Posted by: Jodie Blades Diploma Level 3 in Dental Nursing
Medically reviewed by: Dr Anthony Lam BDS (Hons), MSc (Lond), MOrth RCS (Edin) Specialist Orthodontist and Clinical Lecturer at Guy's Hospital, London.
Knowing how to keep braces clean isn’t just important; It is vital in ensuring you get the best results from your brace treatment. Whether you have had braces fitted because you want them or you need them, there is a certain amount of commitment required.
Having brackets and wires fitted to your teeth can feel a little alien to begin with. And then you need learn how to look after them. We understand this can be a big adjustment; To try and make it a little easier for you, here are some handy tips on how to keep braces clean.
Now you have braces, it is crucial that you perfect those brushing skills and practice exceptional dental hygiene. You’ll need to allow more time for teeth brushing, than the usual 2 minutes you did pre braces; Making sure you carefully brush between your brackets and behind your wires. Having brackets and wires fitted to your teeth gives plaque even more places to hide in your mouth, so you have to mindful of that! A more intensive brushing routine is also vital to prevent irreversible staining around your brace bracket.
Using an interdental brush allows you to clean right up against the brackets of your brace. Ideally, you should be giving your teeth a quick brush after every meal. Food can easily be trapped in your brace, which can be harmful to the health of your enamel. If you aren’t able to brush after a meal, make your sure at the very least, you rinse your mouth with some water. Consider carrying a travel size fluoride mouthwash around with you for emergency cleaning situations.
Your Orthodontic check-ups aren’t a substitute for a comprehensive dental health examination; So remember to continue visiting your dentist for routine dental exams.
We also recommend more frequent hygiene appointments to keep your teeth clean. This is particularly important if we spot any tartar building up. Hardened plaque can prevent teeth from moving to keep braces clean; Visit the hygienist!
Ideally you should eliminate sugary, fizzy or acidic drinks like cola and wine. But we know that’s a massive ask, we couldn’t do it either! So we ask that you avoid them as best you can. Be mindful when you have them and try to drink through a straw, to help the liquid bypass your teeth. Sugary foods should also be avoided or limited to mealtimes; Sugar increases your risk of acid erosion and decay. The same goes for acidic foods like citrus fruits.
You will also need to limit anything that might stain your teeth; Revealing small white squares when your brace comes off! Try to steer clear of red wine, coffee and ketchup. If it would stain your t-shirt, it will stain your teeth!
If you really want to invest in your brace aftercare, you should consider getting a water flosser (oral irrigator). They can be a little costly so they aren’t for everyone. This tool uses a highly pressurized pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and leftover food from the teeth and gums. Making cleaning around and behind your brackets and wires a breeze.
If you are experiencing any problems with your braces or would like to know more about the types of braces we offer contact us today!
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