Braces Maintenance 101

Braces Maintenance 101

So you went ahead and got braces? Awesome for you.

That is definitely the right choice. Braces can give you a straighter, more beautiful smile. They fix crowded teeth, crooked teeth, gapped teeth among other problems of tooth arrangement.

However, we are here to tell you that the journey is far from over. A full braces treatment – on average – lasts between 6 months and 1 year. During which time, maintaining your oral hygiene ate a pristine condition is absolutely necessary. And so we present you our braces maintenance 101 crash course.

Is oral hygiene different with braces?

Yes. In every aspect you can think of. The design of the braces system (mainly the brackets) invites food remnants to be trapped around them. The design also makes them very difficult to clean. The wire that crosses the braces also plays a huge role, since it hinders the passage of floss between the teeth.

It is not uncommon to learn that a lot of people developed decay or gum disease right after they started their braces treatment. For that, keeping an excellent oral hygiene is of the utmost importance.

What are the braces maintenance 101 tips?

A few changes have to be made to your regular regimen, including:

  1. Changing the tools:

    A regular brush isn’t going to cut it anymore. It is simply not enough to properly remove the plaque and food remnants stuck around the brackets. Our advice is that you switch to an electric tooth brush. There are many types of electric toothbrushes, but we recommend the one that revolves in circles.
    Flossing is another matter entirely. While there are methods you can use the good ole string floss with braces, it is incredibly hard, and so you have to look for other options. These options include floss threaders, interdental brushes, and the ever popular and incredibly effective water flossers.

  2. Changing the technique:

    Your orthodontist sticks the brackets to the teeth surface with a special glue. While that glue is quite strong, it can easily break, and the bracket would get dislodges from its place, causing an array of problems. For that, you need to change your method of brushing and flossing. Force is not an option with braces, and a gentle circular motion is recommended.
    Another aspect is also the food you take. Hard and sticky foods are a big No No. The same principle applies: Hard and sticky foods could break the bond between the bracket and the glue, removing the bracket from its place.

  3. Changing the frequency:

    Normally, we would recommend brushing 2 times a day, once before bedtime, and flossing about 2 to 3 times a week. With braces, this is just not enough. An increase in the number of brushing sessions is recommended, and daily flossing is also advisable. Another addition to your oral hygiene regimen is also a Fluoridated mouthwash. Using that twice daily highly decreases the chances for decay and gum disease.

Our aim is not to increase your burden. We know it’s already significant. What we hope for is a clean oral environment, one that doesn’t pose any risk of decay, gum disease or any other problems before, during and after braces.