Everyone knows how important brushing your teeth is to your total oral health. Regular brushing and flossing keep your teeth pearly white and can help prevent plaque buildup. When you add in brackets and wires, however, the brushing and flossing process is a bit more complicated than you might think.
It’s important to take your time to learn how to brush your teeth with braces so your teeth will stay white and shiny throughout your treatment. Our team at DiMarzio Orthodontics is making it easy for you to learn the new process, so keep reading to learn our tips and tricks for brushing your teeth with braces!
Use The Right Tools
When Dr. DiMarzio or Dr. Marczak first apply your braces, they won’t send you home empty-handed! That first day with your new set of wires, we’ll give you a home care kit filled with tools to help you take care of your teeth from that day forward. This kit includes a floss threader, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and a proxabrush. Each tool plays a unique role in your oral health to clean those hard-to-reach places and be sure you’ll have a pearly white smile in no time.
Soft-Bristled Toothbrush – our team recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush to capably clean your teeth without harming the brackets. The soft bristles can better reach down between each bracket, making it easier to clean these tough-to-reach spaces.
Floss Threader – like a needle, this tool helps you maneuver around the wires in your mouth to floss between your teeth without a hitch.
Flossers – these tools work just like the regular flossers you’ve used before but are specially designed to slide under the wire while still making it easy to remove any plaque or food from between your teeth.
Proxabrush – this tool looks almost like a pipe cleaner, and it works practically the same! The Proxabrush allows you to clean the spaces between brackets or wires that your toothbrush just can’t reach.
Prevident – This is a prescription-strength toothpaste that we’ll give you when you start treatment. This toothpaste has extra fluoride to help strengthen your teeth and prevent decay or the formation of white spots in those hard-to-reach areas. We recommend that it’s used once a day, usually at night after meals, to have the greatest effect.
Not only does this kit help give you a head start toward caring for your teeth with braces, but it also teaches you which tools you’ll need throughout the time you’ll be wearing them so you can replace them as needed. If you have any questions about the contents of your home care kit, don’t hesitate to call DiMarzio Orthodontics – our team always has your back!
Learn The New Way To Brush
There are several steps to brushing your teeth with braces that are slightly different from regular brushing. You’ll want to follow this DiMarzio Orthodontics-approved process to get your teeth in top shape so that you’ll see a bright white smile when we take your braces off.
Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to brush both the exposed parts of your teeth, the brackets, and your gumline. You’ll need to spend about five seconds brushing each tooth or 30 seconds on each section of your mouth. That adds up to about two to three minutes of brushing time, total. Make sure you don’t cut corners! Don’t forget to brush your tongue! It is essential to brush your entire mouth to get rid of bacteria that cause plaque buildup and bad breath.
Floss, Floss, Floss
You’re probably a pro at flossing your teeth without braces, but when it comes to brushing with them? You can expect a learning curve. Dr. DiMarzio and Dr. Marczak recommend you follow these steps to ensure no leftover plaque lingers in your mouth!
Thread the dental floss through the eye of the floss threader. Then, push the head of the floss threader over or under the wire and between your teeth. Remove the threader and lay it to the side. Floss each side of your tooth in a back-and-forth motion like you normally would without braces. Pick up your floss threader and repeat this step by moving to the next tooth! If you find that tricky, just grab one of the flossers we provide to get those hard-to-reach areas.
Be sure you don’t skip flossing. It is vital to the quality of your smile that you keep up with flossing throughout your treatment. The person in the mirror on the day your braces come off will thank you for it!
Use Water – It’s Your Best Friend!
Imagine eating a sandwich for your school lunch, only to visit the bathroom a half hour later to discover bread has been stuck in your teeth the whole time! That’s a nightmare no matter how old you are, but rinsing your mouth with water between brushes is going to help you keep your mouth as clean as can be.
It’s a good idea to keep a water bottle with you at all times so you can rinse your mouth whenever you need to. Rinsing helps break up small food particles that might be stuck in your brackets and wires.
Another great tool for keeping your teeth clean with braces is a water flosser. There are several brands on the market, including the WaterPik, and these tools can help you get leftover food from hard-to-reach places, just like rinsing can. Instead of using traditional floss, a WaterPik uses a high-pressure stream of water that you can direct between brackets and wires to loosen up stuck food and give you a healthy smile that you can feel confident in – even after your lunch break.
Brush Again After Every Meal
Usually, dentists recommend brushing your teeth once in the morning and at night for the best smile possible. When it comes to brushing your teeth with braces, however, you need to brush a little more often.
Dr. DiMarzio and Dr. Marczak advise their patients to brush their teeth after every meal. That is because braces add a lot of surface area to your mouth, which means more hiding places for bacteria to settle into. After a while, that hidden bacteria causes plaque buildup, which could lead to discoloration at best and gum disease at worst.
By brushing after every meal, you can significantly cut down the possibility of bacteria buildup. The result? A clean, white smile at the end of this orthodontic journey.
Learn to Brush with the Pros at DiMarzio Orthodontics
At DiMarzio Orthodontics, we care about more than just straightening your teeth – we care about you! Our team is here to help you every step of the way on your straight smile journey, so whether you’re learning to brush with braces or revving up for the day they come off, Dr. DiMarzio and Dr. Marczak are here to help. If you’re ready to start treatment, schedule your free consultation at our Quincy office today!