Keeping Braces Clean

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brushing with bracesIf you’re wearing braces, learning how to care for your teeth during treatment is important. That’s what we want to look at in today’s post. Below are five tips for making sure your smile stays in great shape while your braces move your teeth into their ideal position.

Be Thorough

When you brush, don’t get in a hurry. We recommend brushing each tooth for at least 10 seconds, especially where your teeth and braces meet because it’s easy for food to get caught around brackets. Brushing at an angle can help you get your brackets as clean as possible.

Brush the Whole Tooth

When you brush, it’s easy to focus on just the front of teeth, but cleaning the whole tooth is important. By focusing on every angle, you’re protecting your smile from the decay that can result from food and bacteria coming together.

Have a Toothbrush Handy

Patients without braces should brush at least twice a day; patients with braces should brush after every meal, if possible. To make that easier, we recommend bringing a toothbrush with you to work or school so you can brush immediately after lunch. If you’re unable to do this, take some time to thoroughly rinse your mouth with water instead.

Fluoride Is Your Friend

Why is fluoride the active ingredient in toothpastes and some mouthwashes? Because it helps strengthen tooth enamel and protect you from the destructive power of bacteria and plaque buildup. Make sure you’re getting enough fluoride on a daily basis by brushing with a quality toothpaste and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash.

Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year

As you straighten your smile, you need to see Dr. Shirck regularly so he can check your progress. However, you should also see your regular dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings. During your checkups, your dentist will look for signs of decay or gum disease and offer care if he or she finds anything.