What good will straightening your teeth be if you develop tooth decay, cavities and gum disease during your orthodontic treatment. Here’s how to keep your teeth clean and healthy while wearing metal braces in Orlando.
Choose the right products
Your orthodontist in Orlando will recommend particular mouthwash, floss and toothpaste products that are the best for getting rid of the bacteria in your mouth that can cause tooth decay and cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis, and bad breath. Don’t just pick products at random. Some products contain harsh and abrasive substances that can cause damage to your braces. You’ll need to select a floss product that will fit between your teeth and along your arch wires. Mouthwash with red or green dyes can change the colour of your removable elastics and metal braces in Orlando.
Brush your teeth properly
You were probably an expert when it came to brushing your teeth long before you got metal braces near you, but open your mind to re-learning that essential skill. Brushing your teeth while wearing metal braces is different because you simultaneously need to: avoid breaking your arch wires or dislodging a bracket from your tooth; and remove all the food particles on your teeth. You should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle motion to brush your teeth, but those are especially important cautions while wearing braces. Here are the five steps to follow to brush your teeth effectively while wearing braces.
- Rinse your mouth with water
- Remove food particles that accumulated along your gums by angling your toothbrush
- Again using your toothbrush at an angle, remove food particles from the tops of the brackets on your teeth
- Then switch to the bottom edges of your brackets and brush upwards with your teeth at an angle
- After focusing all that attention on your braces specifically, don’t forget to brush the front and back of every tooth in your mouth
As with brushing your teeth, flossing is more challenging and a different process while wearing braces than before you started your orthodontic treatment. Your dentist will help you to meet that challenge by recommending the right floss product and teaching you the best flossing technique to use once a day. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- When the dental floss is underneath a wire, don’t pull on the floss but instead move the floss upwards and downwards
- When the dental floss becomes covered in debris, discard and start with a new length of floss or floss pick
- To prevent the development of gingivitis, focus on removing food debris from along your gums
- After floss, rinse your mouth thoroughly to sweep away food debris and particles that were loosened up but not completely dislodged by flossing
Try an oral irrigator
Oral irrigators use pressurized water to loosen food, plaque and even bacteria from your teeth, gums and even on and around the brackets and wires on your teeth. Using an oral irrigator is not an alternative to brushing and flossing, but can make it a lot easier to keep your mouth, teeth and gums clean while wearing braces. It’ll add a little time to your dental hygiene, but you may only need to use it once or twice a week. After your orthodontist how often they recommend, and if there are particular products that are appropriate for your needs.
Make keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces easier for yourself — and minimize the risk of damaging your braces’ wires and brackets — by eating smartly. Avoid eating nuts, sticky candy, popcorn, raw and stringy vegetables, bagels, crunchy snacks, whole raw fruit like apples, tough-to-chew meats and sticky nut butters. Is giving up some of these things a sacrifice? That’s one way to look at it. The better way to think of it, though, is as an investment in straighter and healthier teeth as soon as possible. If you’re concerned about any damage to your braces or the health of your teeth during your orthodontic treatment, contact an orthodontist near you.