Congratulations on choosing braces! Dental braces are the best way to create a beautiful, healthy smile by aligning your teeth and correcting your bite. Straightening your teeth will help keep them cleaner by reducing bacteria accumulation, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. But, dental braces can produce particular oral hygiene challenges for the duration of treatment, and it is essential to know how to properly keep your teeth and braces clean during your total length of treatment.
Braces consist of metal or clear plastic brackets bonded to each tooth, and usually, metal bands wrap around the back molars to offer support. An archwire extends through each bracket, helping to shift your teeth over time. Small coloured elastics are wrapped around each bracket to hold the archwire. Due to braces’ hardware, bacteria can accumulate in areas around brackets, underneath arch wires, between teeth and at the gum line. Let’s review some oral hygiene aids to help you keep your braces clean.
An electric toothbrush is a great idea during your orthodontic treatment because it helps remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes work by completing your brush strokes for you, so your only job is to access all tooth surfaces with the brush head properly. An electric toothbrush takes some of the work out of brushing while doing a more thorough job.
Dental floss and floss threader/ super floss
Flossing is much more difficult with braces due to the archwire. You will need a tool to help you get the floss underneath the wire to access your gums. A floss threader works by assisting you in looping the floss underneath the wire between each tooth, so you can adequately floss at the gum line. Although this takes longer than traditional flossing, it is vital to your oral hygiene routine during orthodontic treatment.
End tuft brush
This brush resembles a traditional manual toothbrush but contains smaller bristles. Because of its smaller size, it is easier to access between teeth and at the gum line. This type of brush is recommended for cleaning around bands and molars.
Often called the “Christmas tree brush,” this brush is thin, like a pipe cleaner, with small bristles around it. It works well to clean between brackets and underneath arch wires, where a toothbrush may have difficulty accessing.
If used collectively, these tools will help you keep your smile bright and healthy during your orthodontic treatment. We encourage you to contact us today to schedule a visit if you have any questions.