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Brushing with Braces

By Jill Feilmeier on August 27, 2013 in Dental Health


If you wear braces, then you need to concentrate on your oral hygiene more than ever. Braces have tiny spaces where food particles and plaque get trapped, and if you don't clean thoroughly, you will end up with tooth decay and enamel staining.

With braces, you should brush after you eat. Rinsing alone is not usually enough to loosen debris. You can use a fluoride-based toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. After you brush, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and check your teeth to ensure that they are clean.

Flossing is equally important. Floss between the braces and under the wires daily, using a floss threader. Make sure to visit your dentist and have your teeth cleaned every six months.

Here are a few tips to make daily brushing and flossing while wearing braces easy and effective:

• Buy a good toothbrush. Your dentist may recommend one for you. If he/she has not, ask.

• If your braces are removable, take them off before you brush and floss.

• Make sure that your braces remain clean at all times. Begin brushing your teeth in small circular motions. First, brush the front teeth, then the back teeth, and finally the chewing surface. Then, holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, clean around the wires and pins of your braces. You can brush from the top of each wire and then from the bottom.

• Take care to clean each tooth individually.

• Floss daily. Agreed, flossing is a hassle when you are wearing braces, but it is necessary to keep and maintain your daily dental routine even with braces.

• Rinse your mouth with water and check your teeth. After you brush and floss, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water, and examine your teeth and braces in the mirror. If they look clean, you are good to go.

• You might also have to regulate your diet slightly while you are wearing braces. While you can eat most foods provided you cut them into small and easily chewable pieces, there are certain foods that can break or loosen braces, and hence to be avoided. These include apples, bagels, taffy, caramels, hard pretzels, popcorn, nuts, and carrots.

Do you have any suggestions for brushing with braces? Leave them in the comments!