Many of us resort to braces for correction of orthodontic defects like crowding of teeth, spaces in between the teeth, or misaligned teeth. Once the dentist affixes the brackets and wires, your job of cleaning and maintaining the braces begins.
For your teeth to remain in great shape, proper maintenance of oral hygiene is mandatory. Here are a few steps through which you can clean your teeth while wearing braces.
With new orthodontic components in your mouth, a regular toothbrush may turn out to be insufficient to clean all the areas of the teeth. Hence, getting a proxabrush is highly recommended.
The specialty of this proxabrush or Christmas tree brush (as it is shaped so) is that it can be inserted into the narrow areas in between the wire and tooth surfaces, and can be used to clean areas that are inaccessible for a regular toothbrush. Either you can get a toothbrush that has a proxabrush bristles tuft on one end and regular toothbrush bristles tuft on another end, or you can get two separate units and use them one after another.
Application of toothpaste
Before applying toothpaste, thoroughly wet your toothbrush with warm water for enhanced cleaning effect. Apply toothpaste that is almost the size of a pea. Any fluoridated toothpaste can be used.
If you are suffering from tooth sensitivity, your dentist may advise you to use a prescription toothpaste or one that is fluoridated and can tackle the problem of sensitivity.
Divide your mouth into four parts or quadrants, two upper and two lower. Consciously think about thoroughly brushing all four quadrants in a specific, repetitive order.
This continual practice ensures that all teeth are cleaned carefully. Make sure to brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each individual tooth.
Finish off with brushing the tongue, roof of the mouth, and inside cheeks. Once you get accustomed to the routine, you will be able to effectively clean your teeth more swiftly.
Finally, use a proxabrush to clean the components of the braces along with the teeth. Insert the proxabrush in between two brackets from above so that it passes between the archwire and the teeth and rub vertically while shifting left to right. Though the whole procedure may sound tricky, it is can be performed easily with practice.
Toothbrushing is great for cleaning all of the outside surfaces of the teeth, however the areas in between the teeth have primarily remained untouched. Flossing helps to remove debris and clean in between teeth, which is critical for proper oral care.
Roll at least 18 inches of floss in between your thumbs and index fingers of both the hands. Now pass the floss between teeth from one end to the other end.
If you are not able to dip the floss down towards the gums and are finding the archwire as an obstruction, try to pull the floss from below the wire. Ask your dentist about “floss threaders” to help guide the floss below the arch wire. This way you can reach all the surfaces of the teeth and ensure that all of them are clean.
An antiseptic mouthrinse can reduce the levels of plaque and also help in flushing out any remaining food particles in the mouth. Sometimes mouthrinse can be used prior to brushing and flossing.
Modify your diet
A balanced diet is the key to oral health and overall health. Unnecessary and excess consumption of sugary products can cause dental problems as well as other health problems.
Sticky foods like chewing gums or candies are to be avoided, as that makes the cleaning job more cumbersome. Hard crunchy foods should be somewhat avoided, as the brackets or wires may get displaced or dislodged.
Prevent against grinding
Some people have the habit of grinding their teeth when in stressful situations or not-knowingly in their sleep. Grinding your teeth is especially rough on your braces. If you have the habit of night-grinding consult your dentist so that a nightguard can be fabricated for you.
Be regular with your dental check-ups
Never miss a hygiene appointment with your dentist for your routine check-up. During these visits, your dentist makes sure that there are no new areas of decay in your mouth and that you are maintaining your teeth properly.
Keeping your teeth healthy and clean while wearing braces is vital for a successful orthodontic treatment. Keep these directions in mind while wearing braces to have optimal oral health and to keep your attractive smile for many years to come.