Braces can make maintaining thorough oral hygiene difficult. However, there are some best practices and special tools you can use to make your oral hygiene routine easy and efficient!
Let’s start with the basic brushing tools. Our orthodontist recommends choosing either a soft-bristle brush or a bi-level brush (a toothbrush that has shorter bristles in the middle and longer bristles at the edges). Used carefully, an electric toothbrush can also work. But be sure that the electric brush you select is set to a moderate power level whenever you use it, and be mindful of the vibrations. You don’t want the back of your brush to hit your brackets or braces.
Dr. Steven Hoagburg and his orthodontics team advise that you brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least two times a day (preferably after meals) for at least two minutes each time. Remember to brush all teeth surfaces: outside, inside, and the chewing surfaces as well. And be especially careful to clean the areas between wires and teeth, as well as between brackets and gums — that’s where food particles can easily become trapped, causing decay.
Beginning at the outside surfaces, place the tips of toothbrush bristles flat against teeth then use small circular motions to gently polish them clean. For areas between braces and gums, tilt the brush toward the gum line (down for the bottom teeth, up for the top) while keeping up the circular motions. Next, move on to the chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth, utilizing a firm back-and-forth motion. Finally, finish by carefully brushing the inside surfaces of the teeth the same way you did the outside surfaces.
Special Oral Hygiene Tools
There are several tools that can make your oral hygiene routine simpler. A couple popular options include the interdental toothbrush (or proxabrush) and the Waterpik®. An interdental toothbrush has a small tuft of bristles that stick up like a pipe cleaner. It can be used to clean tiny spaces under wires and around bands and brackets. Meanwhile the Waterpik® shoots a small stream of pressurized water at your teeth, which can help dislodge bits of food that become trapped in nooks and crannies.
Healthy Smiles to Last A Lifetime
Every day you keep your teeth and gums healthy is an investment in your future. It enables you to get the best results from your orthodontic treatment, setting you on a path to a brighter smile. For more information on brushing and flossing, braces, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hoagburg, please contact Hoagburg Orthodontics today! We’d love to hear from you!