Today braces are a very common method of orthodontic treatment because they are durable and can work quickly. But they can contribute to plaque and tartar buildup if proper oral hygiene isn't implemented. Here, our orthodontists at SmileTown Orthodontics Braces & Invisalign share tips for brushing your teeth with braces.
Keep the 45 Degree Rule in Mind
When brushing your teeth with braces you should remember the 45-degree rule. When cleaning your lower teeth, point your toothbrush slightly upwards so you can reach under the groove of the bracket, and point downwards when brushing your top teeth. Most of the food particles will be getting stuck on the sides of your braces, in between your cheek and teeth. We also suggest adopting the habit of flossing your teeth or using a toothpick after you eat to make brushing a bit easier.
Treat Your Brackets as Part Of Your Tooth
Don’t give plaque the opportunity to build up on the areas that are next to your brackets because this can result in tooth discolouration or cavities between your teeth. Your wires and brackets will create more grooves where bacteria can settle and multiply. You can help prevent this by brushing your teeth after every meal. You are still able to floss with braces, but use dental floss that has hard tips or flossing lassos that can reach under the wire. You may also need a toothbrush with harder bristles, so they don’t get stuck in or damaged by your brackets.
Make Healthy Decisions
Another way to help prevent the build-up of plaque is to be wise about the food you eat. You don’t have to make any drastic changes to your diet with braces, but it's wise to avoid food that can make it harder to clean your teeth. For example, popcorn, licorice, gummy candy, jerky, and taffy will get stuck in your braces more easily than other foods. Your daily brushing routine will simply be easier when you avoid a shortlist of gooey and tough-to-eat foods. Ask your orthodontist which foods he or she recommends staying away from.