Brushing and flossing with braces

Many children and adults are using braces to straighten their teeth and give them a natural looking smile that shines. Using braces gives the wearer certain challenges that may make regular dental care difficult.

For instance, brushing and flossing with braces can be more difficult than performing these same tasks without the metal in the mouth. There are tips and tricks that will make it easier. Using those will help you to prevent any tooth decay that can occur under the metal and the wires.

Gum care while wearing braces is also a challenge. You are faced with threading the floss through each of the teeth under the metal brace, flossing and then removing. It takes more time, more energy and more coordination. And truth be told, it’s a pain in the neck!

Flossing is important to the care of your gums. Using a floss threader and waxed floss will make the process easier. Try out a few different brands and see which ones work best for you. It takes more effort but you’ll be well rewarded with healthy gums and a clean bill of dental health.

Brushing should also be done after each meal to remove as much food debris as possible which will decrease your risk of dental cavities (also known as caries). There are a few new dental brushes you can use to make your brushing easier and more efficient. An end-tuft brush makes getting into tight places easier. A dental pick will help remove food that’s lodged under the brackets and wires. Interdental brushes will help remove food from between teeth or under the braces.

You can make yourself a dental kit for travel, not only overnight travel but also when you are outside the house and shopping or at lunch. You can include a travel or full size toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, dental floss and threaders, a spiral dental brush, dental wax, small mirror and a pack of tissues. You can keep these products in a zipper plastic bag or small cosmetic bag.

Sooner or later you’ll be faced with eating out and having food stuck in your braces. Sometimes you can get away with a quick swish and swallow at the table to get rid of the pesky bit of food but sometimes you need to bring out the big guns. Now you are heading for a public restroom for brushing and flossing your braces until you can get that bit of food dislodged.

Some people find brushing and flossing your teeth with braces in public to be embarrassing and sometimes it can be downright gross. You’ll run into dirty sinks, bad smells and poor water pressure. Chances are the cleaner the restaurant the cleaner the bathroom. No matter how clean it looks there are still germs that you can’t see that can pass along infections you don’t want. To protect yourself lay down a few pieces of clean paper to give yourself a clean surface to work from. You’ll be laying out your toothbrush and floss on a clean surface without worrying about picking up an unwanted germs.

Your best bet is to forget about the embarrassment or the short term inconvenience and care for your teeth while at work or out at restaurants. Your braces will be gone in a short time and the health of your teeth is at risk.

The usual routine that you should follow is a bit more stringent then when you don’t have braces. That’s because the braces hold bits of food against your teeth and increase your risk of developing dental carries.

Here is a good routine for you to follow. First, rinse and spit at least 3 or 4 times. You can use water or a non-alcohol mouth wash if you prefer. Now use a dental pick to dislodge food from under the hooks and between the brackets. Next brush your teeth, examine them for food you didn’t already remove and rinse and spit again. Floss at the end of each day. Flossing comes before brushing in the whole process.

RESOURCES

First Impressions Orthodontics: Brushing and Flossing with Braces
http://www.fairfieldorthodontist.com/patient-info/brushing-and-flossing-with-braces.aspx

Yang Orthodontics: Brushing and Flossing with Braces
http://www.orthodontistrwc.com/braces-101/brushing-amp-flossing-with-braces.aspx
Bankhead Orthodontics: Oral Hygeine
http://www.bankheadortho.com/brushing.asp
Braces Guide: Online Guide to Braces
http://www.bracesguide.com/duringbraces/duringbraces12.html

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