Cleaning and Caring for Braces

Properly cleaning and caring for braces is crucial to maintaining a healthy and confident smile throughout your orthodontic journey! Whether you’re new to braces or a seasoned braces wearer, knowing how to keep braces clean and well-maintained is essential. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the best practices on how to clean braces and offer valuable tips on caring for braces, how to ensure optimal oral hygiene, and more. So, let’s dive into the world of braces maintenance to achieve a beautiful smile!

Why Is Oral Hygiene So Important For Braces?

Taking care of your teeth is paramount when you have braces, but braces make it a bit harder to clean your teeth properly. The brackets and wires can trap food, leading to plaque buildup on your teeth.  Over time, this can cause staining, gum disease, and even tooth decay.

It’s crucial to clean your teeth thoroughly while wearing braces to prevent dental health problems that could slow down your treatment progress. By keeping your teeth and braces clean, you can ensure the best results and have a healthy, beautiful smile in the end!

How To Take Care Of Your Braces

Here are some helpful tips to help you keep your teeth healthy while wearing braces:

Brush Regularly With Proper Technique

Food can easily get stuck in your braces, leading to plaque and bacteria buildup, which can cause tooth discoloration, cavities, and gum problems. Cleaning braces requires extra attention and effort to keep your teeth in healthy shape. Here’s a step-by-step guide to effectively clean your braces:

Remove Detachable Components: If you have elastics or detachable parts on your braces, take them off before you start cleaning.

Start at the Gum Line: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Begin cleaning each tooth thoroughly, starting at the gum line and brushing gently in a circular motion.

Clean Around Brackets and Under Wires: Angle the toothbrush to reach around the brackets and wires. Clean all sides of each bracket and gently clean under the wires to remove any food particles or plaque.

Brush Twice Daily: Brush your teeth with braces at least twice daily for at least two minutes each time. Proper brushing helps keep your teeth and braces clean and healthy.

Brush After Meals and Snacks: Whenever possible, brush your teeth after eating to swiftly remove any food debris stuck in your braces. Carry a travel toothbrush, toothpaste and water for cleaning while you’re away from home.

Use Dental Floss or Interdental Brushes: Flossing becomes even more critical with braces. Use floss threaders or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth and around the braces.

Rinse with Mouthwash: Use an orthodontic mouthwash to rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing and flossing. This helps eliminate any remaining bacteria and keeps your breath fresh.

Regular Dental Checkups: Keep up with your regular dental checkups. Your dentist or orthodontist can clean your braces professionally and ensure everything is progressing well.

By following these steps and maintaining a consistent cleaning routine, you can keep your braces clean, your teeth healthy, and achieve the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment. Remember, proper oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining a confident and radiant smile throughout your brace-wearing journey!

Additional Tips for Caring for Your Braces

Floss At Least Once Per Day

Flossing with braces may seem challenging, but it is a crucial part of braces care that you should do daily. To effectively floss with braces, follow these steps:

Begin by wrapping the floss ends around your index fingers for better control.

Gently slide the floss between each of your teeth, being careful around the braces.

Floss all the way up to your gum line to ensure you remove any trapped food particles.

Use a fresh section of floss for each new set of teeth to avoid spreading bacteria.

Use Special Cleaning Tools

If you find it difficult to reach certain areas, helpful tools like floss threaders, water flossers, and plastic pics can assist you in getting those tough-to-reach spots. Remember, daily flossing is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing braces.

Avoid Certain Foods

Making sure your braces and teeth stay clean becomes much easier when you steer clear of certain foods that are notorious for causing problems with brackets and wires. Sticky treats like caramel, gum, and candies are particularly difficult to clean when they get stuck on your braces. Additionally, chewy foods like beef jerky, rare meat, hard pizza crusts, and bagels have the potential to bend wires or damage brackets. To avoid potential issues, cut raw fruits, vegetables, and fibrous foods into small pieces before eating. Be cautious of sugary drinks as well, as they can lead to cavities and tooth stains. Regardless of your food choices, remember to maintain a consistent dental routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent food particles from causing harm to your braces.

Visit Your Orthodontist And Dentist Regularly

In addition to taking good care of your teeth, it’s vital to maintain a regular schedule of orthodontist visits. These appointments are crucial in monitoring your progress, making necessary adjustments like changing elastics and adjusting wires, and ensuring your treatment stays on track. 

Protect Your Investment by Properly Caring For Your Braces

Devoting time every day to effectively brush, floss, and rinse your teeth is key to achieving optimal results from your treatment. Though caring for braces may have a bit of a learning curve, rest assured, we’re here to help! Dr. Rick and the rest of our team at Risinger Orthodontics are dedicated to assisting you in getting the most from your orthodontic journey. 

Got questions about cleaning and caring for braces? Feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help you get the best possible outcomes and ensure your orthodontic experience is successful and satisfying!