If you are currently wearing braces to straighten your teeth, learning how to care for your pearly whites during orthodontic treatment is important. That is what we want to look at in today’s post. Check out the five tips we include below for making sure your smile stays in optimal shape while your braces steadily move your teeth into their ideal position for a smile you can be proud of!
When you brush your teeth, please don’t do it in a hurry. We recommend that you brush every tooth for at least 10 seconds each, especially where your teeth and braces meet because it is all too easy for food to become trapped around your brackets.
Pro Tip: brushing teeth at an angle can help you get your brackets as clean as possible, removing stray bits of food particles and harmful oral plaque.
2-Brush the Whole Tooth
When you brush, it’s tempting to focus on just the front of teeth, but keep in mind it is crucial to clean the whole tooth, not just the front. By taking the time to focus on every angle of the tooth, you are protecting your smile from the decay and cavities that can result from food and bacteria coming together, unchecked.
3-Have a Toothbrush Handy
Patients without braces should brush at least twice a day; but patients with braces should ideally brush their teeth after every meal, if at all possible. To make that task easier, we recommend bringing a toothbrush with you to work or school so you can brush immediately after having lunch. If you’re unable to do this, we highly recommend taking some time to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water instead as this can help rinse away stray food particles and lingering oral bacteria.
4-Fluoride Is Your Friend
Do you know why fluoride is often the active ingredient in toothpastes and some mouthwashes? It’s because it helps strengthen tooth enamel while protecting you from the destructive power of bacteria and plaque buildup. It’s essential that you make sure you’re getting enough fluoride for your teeth’s needs on a daily basis by brushing with an ADA (American Dental Association) recommended quality toothpaste followed by rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash. Trust us when we say your teeth will thank you!
5-Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year
As you invest time, energy and money in straightening your teeth, you will need to see one of our orthodontists regularly so we can check your progress, make sure you are on track with your treatment time and that your teeth are in good shape. However, you should also see your regular dentist at least twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. During your checkups, your dentist will look for signs of tooth decay or gum disease and offer the proper care if he or she finds anything harmful developing. Remember, prevention is always the best strategy, and timely action when needed is your best bet to keeping your smile healthy and strong while straightening your teeth!
Read more about our At-Home Care for Orthodontics: