We get it. You’ve been brushing your teeth your entire life. Why do you need to relearn something so simple? It should be like riding a bike, right? While we wish it were as easy as repeating the same process you’re used to, brushing your teeth with braces is more involved.
Picture this: You’re going out to meet friends in a few hours, and since you’re already dressed and ready, you have some time to grab a snack beforehand. You decide to go to a cute little coffee shop and eat a small sandwich. No big deal, right? What you didn’t consider, however, was that bits and pieces of the sandwich would get stuck in your teeth and stick around the entire time you hung out with your friends! How embarrassing!
That’s because there’s a lot more to keeping your braces clean than brushing your teeth twice a day. No one wants old food stepping out to say hello from between your brackets and wires, so keep reading to learn how to clean your braces from the team at Scaffidi Orthodontics.
Use Your Home Care Kit
The day Dr. Scaffidi applies your braces, you’ll also get a home care kit to take care of them. Make sure you hold on tight to this toolkit because it has everything you need to brush and floss your teeth with ease! We’ll include a soft-bristled toothbrush, a proxabrush, and a floss threader. Each tool plays a unique role in your oral health to clean those hard-to-reach places and be sure you’ll have a pearly white smile in no time.
Soft-Bristled Toothbrush – our team recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush to capably clean your teeth without harming the brackets. The soft bristles can better reach down between each bracket, making it easier to clean these tough-to-reach spaces.
Proxabrush – this tool looks almost like a pipe cleaner, and it works practically the same! The Proxabrush allows you to clean the spaces between brackets or wires that your toothbrush just can’t reach.
Floss Threader – like a needle, this tool helps you maneuver around the wires in your mouth to floss between your teeth without a hitch.
Not only does this kit help give you a head start toward caring for your teeth with braces, but it also teaches you which tools you’ll need throughout the time you’ll be wearing them so you can replace them as needed. If you have any questions about the contents of your home care kit, don’t hesitate to call Scaffidi Orthodontics – our team always has your back!
Brush with Care
Brushing your teeth with braces comes with a whole new set of rules. You’ll want to listen closely to Dr. Scaffidi and the team when they explain how to brush around the brackets and wires. Don’t be afraid to look up videos to help get a good visual for how to hold your brush because when it comes to learning your new routine, it’s all about the angles.
Just like when you brushed without braces, you’ll still want to spend two to three minutes brushing each morning, night, and after meals. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to brush both the exposed parts of your teeth, the brackets, and your gum line. Make sure you don’t cut corners and don’t forget to brush your tongue! It is essential to brush your entire mouth to get rid of bacteria that cause plaque buildup and bad breath.
Use the tools in your home care kit – like your proxabrush – to clean the hard-to-reach places between your brackets and behind the wires. Careful brushing can help prevent white spots that may appear when we take your braces off, so for the sake of your future smile, follow these rules!
Flossing Is Key
We know that it’s common to drop flossing from your oral health to-do list, but it’s never been more important to keep up with than it is now you have braces. However, just like brushing comes with a learning curve, so does flossing, so take notes!
Thread the dental floss through the eye of a floss threader. Then, push the head of the floss threader over or under the wire and between your teeth. Remove the threader and lay it to the side. Floss each side of your tooth in a back-and-forth motion like you normally would without braces. Pick up your floss threader and repeat this step by moving to the next tooth! If you find that tricky, just grab one of the flossers we provide to get those hard-to-reach areas.
Be sure you don’t skip flossing. It is vital to the quality of your smile that you keep up with flossing throughout your treatment. The person in the mirror on the day your braces come off will thank you for it!
Here’s a Tip: If flossing with a traditional floss and a floss threader is too hard, try using a WaterPik instead! This tool uses a high-pressure stream of water to push small food particles out of hard-to-reach areas. Because it’s just water, it might be easier to use than a floss threader because it works wherever you aim the handle. Plus, it’s an investment – you can use it with or without braces!
Exceptional Care Just for You
When you choose Scaffidi Orthodontics, you’ll learn how to take care of your braces from the pros! With expert training, personal service, and comfortable treatments, our team hands out happy smiles like candy. If you’re ready to get started on the smile of your dreams, schedule your free consultation in Kenner, New Orleans, or Slidell today!