Caring for Your Braces
If you have invested in braces to straighten your teeth, it’s clear that having a healthy, beautiful smile is important to you. The trouble is that traditional braces make dental hygiene a bit trickier than usual. To help ensure your teeth don’t succumb to cavities while you’re straightening your smile, follow these tips to care for your braces.
Brush with Care
Food particles and plaque tend to accumulate under and around the brackets and wires of your braces. With the following brushing techniques, you can sweep away debris to help keep your mouth clean and cavity-free:
- Remove elastics, bands, and any other removable parts of your braces.
- Clean around the wires and brackets with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Start by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle from the gum line. Then, tilt the bristles as needed to sweep away even the most stubborn particles.
- Brush for two minutes twice a day. Aim to spend 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth.
- Rinse with tap water, and examine your teeth and braces in the mirror. Check for any lingering food particles that require a little more attention.
- If you don’t feel like your manual toothbrush is doing a thorough enough job, consider investing in an electric toothbrush. Look for one with a round head and V-shaped bristles designed for use with braces.
Remember to Floss
Flossing once a day is important for everyone, including people with braces. Unfortunately, the wires make it difficult to floss between your teeth along the gum line.
One solution is to use a floss threader. This makes it easier to feed the floss under each wire. We also recommend using waxed floss, which is less likely to get caught and shredded up in your braces. You can also use self-threading floss, which features a stiffened tip that speeds up the process of flossing with braces or permanent retainers.
No matter which method you use, thread the floss carefully under the main wire of your braces before passing it through your teeth. Be careful not to snap the floss—simply move it up and down slowly against each side of the tooth. Then, remove the floss and re-thread it through the next wire. Repeat this process until you have flossed between all your teeth.
Schedule Follow-Up Appointments
Visit your orthodontist for routine checkups and adjustments to your braces. This is what allows your teeth to continue shifting into the ideal position. Also, keep up with regular cleanings and oral exams with your regular dentist to keep your mouth healthy and catch cavities early. You may also receive more useful tips for brushing and flossing with braces.
Traditional braces aren’t right for everyone. If you’re interested in finding out what Invisalign has to offer, please contact Park 56 Dental in NYC at (212) 826-2322. We’ll help you get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted without metal braces!
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