Getting braces can throw a curveball into your normal oral hygiene routine. The metal wires and brackets can make certain areas of your mouth, particularly between your teeth, harder to reach with a regular toothbrush and floss.
The good news is, there are some simple tricks and tips you can start using right away to prevent bacterial buildup that can lead to tooth decay and stains. Here’s what you can do to ensure that your teeth and gums stay in excellent shape while wearing braces.
1. Use an interdental toothbrush
Your orthodontist can provide you with an interdental toothbrush that is shaped to fit into the spaces between your braces so you can clear out any food particles that get stuck in the wires.
2. Use a WaterPik
A WaterPik is another fantastic tool to help flush out tricky-to-reach spots. It shoots a stream of pressurized water into the spaces between teeth to dislodge food residue and saves you from the trouble of trying to thread traditional dental floss over and around your braces.
3. Maintain a thorough daily oral hygiene regimen
Everyone needs a good dental hygiene routine, but it’s especially important for people who wear braces since it is much easier for food and bacteria to build up around the hardware in your mouth. We recommend that you brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash after every time you eat. If you’re pressed for time or don’t have a toothbrush handy, you can do a quick swish and gargle with water to wash away some of the buildup. Flossing should be done at least once daily.
4. See your dentist for regular checkups
It’s important to keep up with your biannual dental checkups so that your dentist can give your teeth the professional level of cleaning they need to stay healthy and beautiful. Your dentist can also identify any potential problems and help you adjust your dental care routine to prevent those issues from developing into something more serious. In between visits, make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions for care of your braces.