Daily oral hygiene is crucial. Yes, even for those rare humans with perfect teeth. They aren’t going to stay that way without some TLC.
Aligners, retainers, and braces can make that work a little harder. (It’ll be worth it in the end! We promise!) In the meantime, though, take care of those pearly whites! The last thing we want is to take off braces, only to discover cavities and gum disease.
Every day, no matter what we do or where we live, our mouths fill up with a bacteria film called plaque. This plaque coats our teeth and starts to irritate the gums. If it doesn’t get cleaned away, it eventually forms gum disease.
Fortunately, gum disease is also relatively easy to prevent. The first step is brushing, and doing it every single day. The plaque doesn’t take days off, so neither should you.
While wearing braces, brushing is even more important. Brush multiple times a day, especially after eating, to make sure nothing gets stuck.
Handy Braces Tip #1: Make sure you get everywhere. If you use a mirror while you clean, you’ll be able to see exactly where you’ve been.
Handy Braces Tip #2: Get some of those tiny, between-the-teeth brushes. They can get into small places around your braces, making your job a LOT easier.
Many of us don’t floss like we should. We get it. It feels like a real hassle, especially with braces. Unfortunately, bacteria is very small. It can get into those tiny places that a regular brushing doesn’t reach. Floss does reach, and can mean the difference between healthy teeth and hidden, difficult-to-reach cavities.
Braces make flossing even more vital. You’ve got a lot of nooks and crannies going on, around the wires and brackets. Those nooks catch both food and bacteria all too easily. Make sure to get everywhere.
Handy Braces Tip #3: Floss picks can be a lifesaver, when it comes to braces. Your angles are awkward. Your spaces are tight. Flossing picks can maneuver some of those trouble spots.
Handy Braces Tip #4: Rinsing your mouth helps a lot. Just swishing water around can loosen or dislodge particles. Mouthwash can also make a big difference. It’ll get to the bacteria your brushes and floss can’t quite reach.
Don’t skip out on your regular professional cleanings. A dental hygienist can see things in your mouth that you can’t, and will have the right tools to take care of it. Since none of us are perfect —unfair, we know— a good cleaning by a trained hygienist is invaluable.
Handy Braces Tip #5: Don’t just keep your teeth scrubbed. Take care of your equipment as well. Trade out your toothbrush regularly and wash any retainers with the proper cleaning methods.