How to maintain dental hygiene with braces
Straightening your teeth through braces is great for your self-image and preventing many dental problems in the future. But the downside of braces, particularly traditional ones, is that it can be hard to maintain dental hygiene.
That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you understand the importance of good dental hygiene and some tips for maintaining it with your braces.
What are the risks of bad dental hygiene?
Braces make dental hygiene harder to maintain, and are more prone to several common dental problems such as gingivitis, tartar, and demineralisation. In some cases, these can even lead to more serious issues such as gum disease, through a build-up of plaque. Not only are these problems unpleasant for you to deal with, they may also prevent your braces being removed on schedule.
Being more susceptible to cavities and sore, swollen gums can cause your regular adjustments to be paused. In severe cases, your orthodontist may even have to remove your braces while you heal.
Maintaining good dental hygiene is also important to prevent staining. The last thing you want to do is end up with whiter, visible unstained squares on your newly straightened teeth.
Tips for maintaining your hygiene with braces
The first step to maintaining good dental hygiene is making sure you have the right equipment to do the job.
Although some will be down to your personal preferences, here’s what you will need:
- Don’t forget the most important part to great dental hygiene! A normal, soft-bristled toothbrush works great for braces. When using your toothbrush, make sure not to press too hard. Tip your toothbrush at an angle so it reaches the surfaces of your teeth, and brush using a smooth, circular motion. Braces can cause extra wear on your toothbrush, so it may need replacing more often.
- Inter-dental brush. These brushes are used to clean between your brackets and under wires and are great at removing large pieces of debris. This brush should be used every single time you brush your teeth to make sure nothing will get stuck.
- Four-tuft interproximal brush. These brushes aren’t for everyone, but can really help clean between your teeth if you have any gaps or spaces. They are also good for cleaning around your brackets and fixed retainers.
- This process is incredibly important to stop a build-up of plaque and should be done once a day. If you’re struggling with the floss, you can get special floss and threader made for braces to help get the floss between your teeth.
- Check your teeth after brushing and make sure you haven’t missed a spot.
The key to maintaining great dental hygiene with braces is to build a routine. Start off with the inter-dental brush and remove all pieces of debris from your braces and wires. Then thoroughly brush your teeth (with the help of a four-tuft interproximal brush if required), taking care not to press too hard.
You will need to brush your teeth several times a day, particularly after big meals. It’s also important that you remember to floss once a day. Take things as slow as you need and make sure you don’t miss a spot.
Maintaining good dental hygiene with braces is difficult, but incredibly important for your health and treatment.
If you struggle with maintaining dental hygiene, you may want to consider opting for Invisalign braces instead. As Invisalign are completely removable, you can easily take the braces out while you maintain a normal dental hygiene routine.
Need more information on your braces? Book a consultation today.