While your braces are doing the work of getting your teeth into alignment, it’s important you do the work of maintaining good oral hygiene. Failing to practice good oral hygiene while wearing braces can lead to cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and permanent white spots on teeth after removing your braces. If you have kids with braces, you might need to give them additional supervision when they’re brushing and flossing their teeth to make sure they’re doing it thoroughly.
How do I brush my teeth with braces?
You should always use toothpaste when brushing your teeth. Begin brushing around the gumline, then tilt your toothbrush to get your bristles under your brackets and wires. Focus on one or two teeth at a time by using short strokes. Next, brush the area of teeth below your brackets and wires and the underside of your brackets and wires. Don’t forget to repeat the entire process on your bottom row of teeth. Avoid white spots by making sure not to miss your lower gumline, and don’t forget to get the backsides of your teeth and the rest of your tooth surfaces, as well as your tongue.
How do I floss my teeth with braces?
Use a floss threader to get your floss beneath your wires so you can pull your floss through. Then remove the threader and floss your tooth as you normally would. Remove the floss and repeat with the next tooth.
How else should I care for my teeth while wearing braces?
Aside from regular brushing and flossing, many of our favorite foods are the foods we have to avoid while wearing braces. Chips, sweets, and sodas are filled with sugars and starches that create acid that is bad for your gums and teeth, especially while wearing braces. Too much sugar can cause permanent white spots after your braces are removed. Avoid sticky, hard, or crunchy snacks that can damage your wires or brackets.