How to Clean Teeth with Braces (Caring for Braces at Home)
Use a toothbrush with medium or hard bristles and a small strip of toothpaste. When brushing teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be lingering under the gum line. If gums bleed, brush that area more often. The blood indicates inflammation and therefore where you will need to brush more. Remember, healthy gums do not bleed. Hold the toothbrush at an angle, and brush slowly and carefully to cover all areas between teeth and braces. It will take several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Take a close look at each tooth around the braces, and make sure that there isn’t any white plaque remaining.
Brush upward on the lower teeth, downward on the upper teeth, and on the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of the front and back teeth. Also, brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse. It is extremely important during orthodontic treatment to keep your teeth healthy and clean.
After brushing with a regular toothbrush, use the Proxabrush between your braces and under the wire. This brush will help clean difficult-to-reach areas.
For the areas that a toothbrush can’t reach, use dental floss to remove tightly trapped food particles and plaque. Flossing takes more time and patience with braces, but it is important to still floss teeth every day.
There are many types of dental floss on the market, but we recommend the type of floss that comes with a plastic tip. Floss after you brush your teeth, especially at night to avoid going to bed with plaque left between your teeth.
We also recommend that you use a reusable “floss threader” provided by our office. This will help you floss under the archwire daily. Pull a small string of floss from the dispenser through the threader. Then, slide it up and down along the front of each tooth.
If you decide to use the standard floss that comes in a small dispenser, wrap the ends of the floss tightly around both of your middle fingers. Guide the floss between your teeth and your gum line and pull out food particles and plaque. Move the floss up your fingers, and use the clean end of the waxed thread as you continue with the other teeth. Don’t forget to floss behind all of your back teeth as well.
Water Jet or Waterpik
Water jets are very effective in removing harmful bacteria between your teeth with braces. This is not a substitute for flossing, but it can be used in addition to flossing as described above. Ask a Diamond Braces team member about the best models available on the market and how to use this type of device.
Magnification Mirror with Light
Diamond Braces recommends a magnification mirror with a light. When brushing, this can be an invaluable asset to show you areas with plaque. These mirrors are inexpensive and readily available at most home goods and department stores.