How To Brush Your Teeth With Braces

Wearing braces is the ideal way of achieving the smile you have always dreamt of, but they put even more importance on maintaining good oral hygiene. 

Fixed braces create additional nooks and crannies where food particles and plaque can get trapped, increasing the risk of cavities, gum disease, and discolouration if not properly managed. But how do you brush your teeth effectively with braces? 

This blog will provide you with practical tips and advice on how to keep your teeth and braces clean, ensuring that you achieve the best possible results from your treatment.

Why Proper Oral Care is Essential with Braces

With braces, food has more places to get stuck and cause plaque build up. It’s your job to ensure this doesn’t happen, and this is achieved by regular brushing and sticking to an effective oral care routine.

Of course, oral hygiene is important whether you have braces or not. But, the risk of plaque build up is increased significantly for wearers of traditional wire and bracket braces

What does this mean? It means you can’t get away with slacking with your oral care routine! 

By not brushing and flossing regularly, or effectively, enough, you risk tooth decay and gum disease, amongst other dental issues. 

With this in mind, let’s get into what you should be doing to clean your teeth and braces effectively… 

Tips for Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Braces

1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day (at least!)

Brushing your teeth twice a day is second nature to many people, but the stats on how many people don’t stick this may shock you. A survey amongst British adults has shown that over a quarter of people don’t brush their teeth twice a day (and that’s just the ones that admitted to it!).

There is no doubt that brushing your teeth is the most important aspect of maintaining good oral hygiene. Make sure you are brushing them at least twice daily, for at least 2 minutes each time, to really clean your teeth and around your braces thoroughly. 

2. Ensure You are Reaching All Areas of Your Mouth

Toothbrush positioning is more significant than you may think. Concentrate on brushing in circular motions to avoid missing the areas closest to your gums, as this is where plaque is the most likely to build up.

When you have braces with wires, you need to make sure you are covering all areas of your braces as well as your teeth. This should include getting between your brace wires.

3. Avoid Rinsing Your Mouth After Brushing

You may have been taught from a young age that you should be rinsing your mouth with water after brushing your teeth, but this actually isn’t necessary. 

After spitting out any excess toothpaste, it is beneficial not to wash away any remaining fluoride in your mouth. This is because the fluoride will continue to work to protect your teeth from bacteria and plaque, even after brushing. 

4. Don’t Forget to Brush Your Tongue

Brushing your tongue is a step you shouldn’t miss. After brushing your teeth, ensure your tongue is also clean by removing any build up of bacteria, food, and mucus. You can do this with your regular toothbrush bristles, or many toothbrushes have a built-in tongue cleaner on the back of the brush head. 

5. Floss Between Your Teeth Daily

Flossing should form an important part of your oral health care routine, and should be done daily. It ensures the gaps between your teeth are clean and free of food particles.

For those with braces, you can buy special orthodontic floss to really get behind your brace wires. If you are unsure how to effectively floss with braces, speak to your orthodontist for practical tips and advice.

6. Use Mouthwash After Brushing

Finishing off your routine with mouthwash is the ideal way to ensure your mouth is clean. Swishing mouthwash for 30 seconds after brushing will help to reach areas you may have missed whilst brushing. 

Despite your best efforts, reaching all areas of your mouth while brushing with braces can be a difficult task. By using mouthwash each time after brushing your teeth, you will have the most chance of killing any remaining bacteria, keeping your breath fresh and your mouth clean. 

7. Stick to Fluoride Toothpaste

There are many different types of toothpaste on the market today, from charcoal toothpaste to flavoured options. 

Whichever you choose, ensure it contains fluoride as this will help to strengthen your tooth enamel, reduce the risk of cavities, and protect your teeth from decay. 

How To Clean Your Braces

Cleaning your braces properly is extremely important, but if you have an effective teeth cleaning routine before having your braces fitted, you shouldn’t need to change much.

Regular brushing, flossing, and use of mouthwash, is all you really need to keep your braces clean. You just need to pay more attention to ensure you aren’t missing those harder to reach areas, such as between the wires of your fixed braces.

The Importance of Attending Dental Appointments

You may think you’re doing a good job at cleaning your teeth, but attending your regular dental check-ups will allow you to get expert tips and advice from a professional.

It may be that you are regularly missing a particular area of your mouth when brushing, that your dentist can bring your attention to.

Having a dentist/orthodontist check the health of your teeth and gums regularly, is the best way of identifying issues early on, to stop them from deteriorating further. Contact us to book an appointment today.

FAQs: Oral Hygiene With Braces

Can you brush your teeth normally with braces?

Brushing with braces shouldn’t be any more difficult than it is without. Continue using your preferred toothbrush (unless advised otherwise by your orthodontist). Ensure you are reaching all areas of your mouth. 

You may find that you need to replace your toothbrush or brush head (for an electric toothbrush) more regularly, however, as the metal brackets and wires can wear down the bristles faster. 

How Often Should I Brush My Teeth While Wearing Braces?

Make sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day with braces. If you can do a third brush in between, or a quick brush after each time you eat, it will only benefit you further.

Can I use a normal toothbrush for braces?

Yes, you can use a manual toothbrush with braces, as long as you are making sure you are cleaning your teeth thoroughly. Electric toothbrushes are generally more effective, however, and your dentist may advise that you use one instead of a manual if they can see you are missing areas or there are signs of decay. 

Can You Use an Electric Toothbrush with Braces?

Electric toothbrushes provide the most effective solution for keeping your teeth clean, even with braces. They make reaching all areas of your mouth easier, and are safe to use with braces, without the risk of damage. 

Which toothpaste is best for braces?

Any fluoride toothpaste should be fine for your braces. Making sure your toothpaste has fluoride will help to protect the enamel of the teeth, prevent tooth decay, and kill harmful bacteria in the mouth. 

If you want recommendations for the best toothpaste for you, speak to your dentist.

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