We all know how important it is to keep our mouths clean, and that brushing with a toothbrush alone, while very important to maintain a clean mouth, is not by far the only necessary step. We know that bacteria, food particles, and plaque can settle between teeth and in places that a toothbrush alone can’t reach.
How many more hiding places for bacteria and food particles do braces offer?
Cleaning your teeth and braces regularly will pay off in the end, when your braces finally (finally!) come off and you see the stains on your teeth that show where your braces were and where your braces weren’t. OR, when you can’t really tell that much of a difference, because you diligently cleaned your braces frequently and with great care.
Food particles can attach themselves to your braces every time you eat, so it is important that you brush your teeth after you eat, every single time. We know you don’t always eat at home, but fear not! You can tuck away a travel toothbrush in your purse or bag, so you are always prepared when you need a quick brush-up.
How many times have we heard that we need to floss our teeth? Millions, maybe even zillions of times! Flossing with braces is SO important, since braces allow food to get stuck in so many new and exciting ways that plain old unbraced teeth just don’t. With the help of a floss threader, or other tools, you can clean every nook and cranny. No pesky food particle is safe from a careful braces wearer!
Brushing your teeth when you wear braces looks pretty much the same as brushing your teeth before you had braces. Take your time and brush every surface of your teeth, gums, and tongue thoroughly. Make sure to rinse with water or a mouthwash.
Poor dental hygiene is a potential issue for anyone who doesn’t take the time and effort to clean their teeth on a regular basis. This concern heightens even more for someone who is wearing braces. You increase your risk for issues like gingivitis and periodontitis if you don’t take very seriously the care and cleaning of your teeth and braces.
Your orthodontist is working hard to help you achieve a straight, healthy smile. But the responsibility is shared by you, the patient, since you’re the one who brushes your teeth when you’re home. (Can you picture your orthodontist brushing and flossing your teeth for you every day?? Neither can we!) You, together with your orthodontist, orthodontic office staff, and your home support (parents, spouses, enthusiastic pet dog), are a team, working together to achieve your perfect smile. Don’t let your team down! Keep those teeth clean every day—several times a day—so when you finally get those braces removed, you will have a smile that shows you all your hard work was worth it!