Chances are at some point in your life you’ve either had braces, had a teenager with braces or are facing the daunting task of a soon to be teenager having braces installed. While times have changed and braces seem kind of like the new norm (vs. when I was a kid and “train tracks” were a cause for much teasing) how to care for your teeth while wearing braces hasn’t changed much at all. That said – do YOU know the drill when it comes to brushing and caring for teeth while sporting braces?
It’s important that the Dentist, Hygienist and Orthodontist work together when you or your child are wearing braces. Each is an important member of your oral health care team. Braces can sometimes hamper healthy brushing efforts and food can become trapped in and around the appliance. It’s important therefore that proper brushing techniques that emphasize how to work around braces are employed. Even more so, regularly scheduled appointments with the Dentist and regular teeth cleanings will ensure that any problem areas are identified and treated early before they can become a problem. We recently saw a patient who was developing some calcification around a bracket. This may or may not be a sign of decay so it was important to identify the potential problem, work with the Orthodontist to have the bracket removed so the tooth could be examined and treated and then reinstall the bracket for the continuation of orthodontic treatment.
Here is what to do when caring for teeth with braces installed:
- Brush after every meal and snack and in particular, before you go to bed.
- Rinse your mouth first, prior to brushing, to rid the mouth of any excess food particles.
- Angle your toothbrush to your gum (approx. 45 degrees) and brush in short strokes, being sure to brush in, around and between wiring, brackets and your teeth.
- Two to three minutes is ideal and don’t forget to brush your tongue!
- Floss regularly as well – there are a number of techniques and special tools you can employ.
- Consider using a special tool called a “soft pick” for cleaning in and around your dental appliances safely.
Braces are an investment. You might spend quite a bit of money on them and you invest a significant amount of time in the treatment process when you consider the average person spends 18-24 months wearing them. With all that time and money invested in obtaining a beautiful smile, make sure that while you’re going through treatment you’re also making every effort to help ensure your smile will be beautiful, healthy and bright when the braces are eventually removed. For more information on your teeth and good oral hygiene habits, book a visit at our Brampton office where it would be our pleasure to assist you. In the meantime, as always, “don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”