For many of us, braces are a part of life. We may not always like them, but we know that they play an essential role in correcting overcrowded or misaligned teeth and in helping to create that perfect, healthy smile we treasure.
Unfortunately, we also know that they can make certain aspects of life more challenging, including properly caring for our teeth. Here are a few tips from your Overland Park dentist to help you brush, floss, and more with braces. These tips work for people of all ages who are getting their teeth straightened for a healthier, more beautiful smile.
Prepare to brush – When you have braces, brushing is still important, but it’s a little more complicated. Before you brush, remove any elastics or rubber bands, positioners, separators, retainers, and any other removable parts of your orthodontic appliance. The parts that should be removed before brushing vary from one kind of orthodontia to the next, so ask your orthodontist or dentist to run through what you should do.
Brushing with braces – All the best practices that you followed when brushing your teeth before you had braces still apply. Brush for two minutes, at least twice a day. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and make sure that you brush the entire surface of each tooth as well as you can. You’ll want to brush in between the brackets and other non-removable parts of your orthodontia, and this is where an interdental or interproximal brush comes in handy. These tiny circular brushes can be useful for brushing around brackets and metal wires.
Flossing with braces – Even when you don’t have braces, brushing alone simply can’t reach all parts of your mouth. That’s why flossing is so important all the time, especially when you have braces! You should always floss at least once a day, and you might want to invest in a floss threader, which can help get floss into hard-to-reach places between your teeth where orthodontia might get in the way. Honestly, though, a floss threader can be pretty handy even if you don’t have braces.
Rinsing and last looks – If you’re on the road, at school, or in the office and you absolutely can’t brush, you can at least rinse your mouth thoroughly with water or some mouthwash. This will help clear particles out of your teeth and braces until you get to a place where you can brush. Whether you brush or not, though, it’s always a good idea to check your braces, teeth, and gums in the mirror after you’re done with your ablutions.
It’s also a good idea to see your Overland Park dentist regularly, and it becomes even more important when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have! Just call Watts Family Dental at (913) 338-3384 to schedule an appointment or ask your dentist about caring for your braces.