So you’re setting off on your straight smile journey, destination braces-free, pearly-white grin. What a great time in your life! Getting braces is a major life milestone for many people, and you’re going to love how you look when the process is complete.
Your journey with braces comes with many new responsibilities, and one of the biggest responsibilities is re-learning how to brush your teeth properly. With all those brackets and wires in your mouth, there are a lot of new places for bacteria to hide, which could lead to staining. You don’t want to end up with a spotty smile, and we don’t want you to either!
At Booth Orthodontics, we work with you to craft the brilliant smile you’ve been dreaming of, but a significant portion of your treatment plan relies on you! When it comes to brushing your teeth with braces, there is a huge learning curve. Fortunately, Booth Orthodontics has put together the ultimate guide for brushing your teeth with braces. Let’s get started.
Tip #1: Use Your Home Care Kit
When your team at Booth Orthodontics applies your braces, we will send you home with a goody bag filled with helpful tools to keep your teeth clean. In this kit, you’ll find a soft-bristled toothbrush, a proxabrush, and a floss threader. These tools will help you brush between and around each bracket and wire.
Toothbrush: Dr. Booth recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing with braces. The soft bristles protect the metal braces from scratching or breaking.
Proxabrush: Your proxabrush (the tool that looks like a pipe cleaner) is designed to scrub between brackets and underneath wires. This tool is essential to ensure you don’t miss any hard-to-reach places in your mouth.
Floss Threader: Your floss threader works like a needle to help you to floss beneath the wires to remove all food particles and hidden plaque.
Tip #2: Understand Why Brushing is Important
Dr. Booth knows you’ve been brushing your teeth your whole life, but brushing your teeth with braces is a whole new ball game even though you’re a pro. Although the simple 2-minute method of brushing that your dentist taught you is still the best way to manage your teeth without braces, it is only the foundation for brushing with braces. You need to take multiple extra steps when brushing with braces, and knowing why makes all the difference.
While your braces are on, it can be hard to tell if you’ll be left with stains; typically, Dr. Booth won’t see signs of staining until your braces are removed.
Think about pulling back a chair that’s been sitting in one spot on your carpet for years. The color is different, right? That’s how braces work if you haven’t brushed your teeth properly: remove the bracket, and you’ll see what the color used to be. Eeek!
Luckily, with a stellar oral hygiene routine, you won’t have to worry about staining when Dr. Booth removes your braces. You’ll just see a pearly-white smile.
Tip #3: Understand How to Brush
Even though this seems obvious, brushing teeth with braces is an added dental challenge! Because of this challenge, you may need to relearn some of your old brushing methods.
Start by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. You’ll need to use a gentle, circular motion over the top, bottom, and front of your teeth to make the entire tooth shine. That means you will be brushing in three different positions for each part of your mouth for 30 seconds each, for a total of two to three minutes of brushing.
Don’t forget to brush the backs of your teeth, along your gum line, and your tongue! Plaque is pesky and can hide anywhere.
Tip #4: Brush After Every Meal
Since you could first hold a toothbrush, you’ve probably been told to brush your teeth morning and night to keep your teeth happy and healthy. That’s a good rule of thumb — don’t stop brushing twice a day! But when you’re dealing with a mouth full of braces, you’ll need to up the ante just a bit.
Because there are so many new places for bacteria to hide and form plaque, now that you have braces, you’ll need to brush your teeth after every meal you eat. Doing so nips plaque in the bud, making it harder for food to become stuck in your teeth and lead to bad bacteria. Plaque will never stand a chance against brushing habits as good as these, which means you’ll be able to expect a bright white smile when your braces come off.
Tip #5: Don’t Underestimate the Power of Rinsing!
Rinsing your mouth with water, mouthwash, or even a water flosser is a great way to maintain the cleanliness of your teeth throughout the day. Rinsing keeps your breath smelling fresh, and it also removes food particles that can easily become lodged in between brackets or teeth. You don’t want to “save your food for later,” and rinsing regularly can help make sure you don’t.
Water flossers are excellent tools for keeping your mouth rinsed and clean. Although they can’t replace regular dental floss, they are a perfect supplement for your rinsing routine. Like traditional dental floss, water flossers like the WaterPik use a steady stream of water to dislodge food particles from those hard-to-reach places in your mouth.
Tip #6: Trust Booth Orthodontics to Help You On Your Braces Journey
The Booth Orthodontics team has years of experience and training – that means we know how to guide your smile success story from beginning to end without a hitch. Dr. Booth knows that one of the most important aspects of getting the most out of your journey with braces is making sure the team behind you knows how to support you.
When questions come up, whether they’re about brushing your teeth with braces or learning which treatment method is suitable for your unique smile, our team is here for you.
Haven’t set up a free consultation yet? Don’t hold back – schedule it today!