Standard metal braces cost somewhere between $3,000 and $7,000 depending on the patient’s needs. If you want to get the most out of your investment, taking care of your teeth and hardware is essential.
In this article, we discuss brushing teeth with braces and why it’s so important. Continue reading to keep your teeth looking and feeling as good as possible while also protecting your investment.
Gather Your Supplies
Before trying out our tips for brushing teeth with braces, you need to gather your supplies. While you can brush your teeth with what you normally use, learning how to brush your teeth with braces is easier with the right tools.
The most important supplies are your toothbrush and toothpaste. However, there are a few other tools we recommend as well. They can make brushing easier and more thorough than with a toothbrush and toothpaste alone.
Your toothbrush is arguably your most important tool when brushing teeth with braces. It will be the most effective at removing bits of food and tartar from your teeth. That’s why it’s important to choose the right type of brush.
We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush while you have braces. The bristles should be gentle enough to prevent damage to your gums or braces. They should also be firm enough to brush between the brackets.
While wondering, ‘how do I go about brushing my teeth with braces,’ you probably didn’t expect to learn about different types of toothpaste. The best options are fluoride toothpaste or toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
Many patients experience sensitivity while their teeth are being adjusted with braces. These types of toothpaste help minimize sensitivity while also promoting healthy teeth. They’re also great for fighting cavities.
Avoid Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
Be sure to avoid teeth whitening toothpaste while wearing braces. Your brackets are firmly attached to your teeth. This means that the toothpaste can’t reach the areas covered by the brackets.
If you use teeth whitening toothpaste, you run the risk of having uneven whitening on your teeth once they’re removed. These types of toothpaste can also increase sensitivity in your teeth.
A good toothbrush and toothpaste are important, but you should also have a few other supplies for a thorough cleaning. The list below includes everything you should need.
- Small cup for water
- Dental floss or water flosser
- Interdental brush
Having all of these supplies whenever you brush your teeth is ideal. However, even just a few of them can make a big difference in your brushing routine.
Create Your Routine
One of the most important tips for brushing teeth with braces is to create a routine. Developing good dental habits is as much about how well you stick to them as it is about what techniques you use.
Most people without braces only need to brush twice per day. However, people with braces should expect to brush more often. Brushing after each meal helps keep your teeth and braces clean and clear of any food particles.
Remove Loose Pieces
Before starting your brushing routine, be sure to remove any loose pieces of your hardware. This includes any bands, elastics, or other removable pieces. Removing them prevents them from getting damaged or swallowed.
Rinse Your Mouth
For the next step in learning how to brush your teeth with braces, you’ll need a small cup filled with water. Use the water to rinse your mouth for approximately 30 seconds before spitting.
This helps remove any loose pieces of food stuck between your braces. It can also make the brushing process easier. You can repeat this step two or three times until you feel your mouth is thoroughly rinsed.
Try Different Angles
With your mouth rinsed, you can take your soft-bristled toothbrush and begin brushing your teeth. Use a 45-degree angle and start near your gum line and the exposed portions of your teeth.
Remember that brushing teeth with braces isn’t just about the teeth. You also need to take care of the braces themselves. Use your brush on the tops and inside portions of the brackets and wires.
Floss or Water Floss
While flossing with braces is more difficult due to the wires, it’s not impossible. You can either carefully thread the dental floss through the wire or you can use a water flosser.
An interdental brush is another helpful tool for flossing. It can be used in addition to dental floss/water flosser or instead of them.
Finish With Mouthwash
Finishing your routine with a mouthwash rinse helps remove any leftover particles. It also promotes good oral health by washing away lingering bacteria while freshening your breath.
Any antibacterial mouthwash works well with braces as long as it’s not a whitening mouthwash. Fluoride mouthwashes are another good option.
Pay Attention to Details
Another important tip for how to properly brush your teeth with braces is to pay attention to details. After you’re finished, take the time to check over your work with a mirror.
If you notice any missed spots or lingering bits of food, follow up with your toothbrush, interdental brush, or dental floss. Using these tools between meals is also helpful if you can’t fully brush.
Other Tips for Braces
If you want the best smile possible, one of our most important tips for braces is that you have to care about what you eat as well as how you eat. Eating the wrong foods in the wrong way can be damaging and even painful.
Avoid hard and sticky foods such as nuts, toffee, and potato chips. These can damage your braces if they get lodged in them. You should also try to take small bites and avoid biting into foods like pizza and apples.
Brushing Teeth With Braces the Right Way
Following the above tips for brushing teeth with braces can keep your teeth and hardware in good condition. Get the right tools, be thorough, and set a routine you can stick to for the best results.
If you need more tips for braces or are ready to schedule your next visit, contact us today.