As your orthodontist, our team at Senestraro Family Orthodontics promises to help keep all of our patient’s smiles looking great now and in the future when their braces finally come off. However, it’s still up to you to keep your mouth clean and healthy by brushing and flossing daily. Practicing quality oral hygiene at home while wearing braces takes just a little extra effort, but you’ll find the results well worth your time. Plaque needs to be adequately removed from your teeth several times throughout the day, and when you wear braces, it’s even more imperative that plaque does not remain. All the brackets and wires involved in your orthodontic treatment provide plaque with plenty of places to hide. Plaque, a sticky biofilm comprised of harmful oral bacteria and food particles that linger in the mouth after eating, attaches to your teeth and braces where it greatly contributes to your risk of everything from bad breath to swollen gums, cavities, and permanent stains on the surface of your teeth.To make sure your teeth stay healthy during treatment, you need to make sure practicing quality oral hygiene remains a top priority day-to-day.

When to Clean Your Braces

Ideally, you should take a moment to brush your teeth immediately following every meal. Even if you can’t actually brush with a toothbrush, spend a few minutes rinsing your mouth with water. Thoroughly swish the water around in your mouth before spitting it out. However, if you think you might have the opportunity to brush consider carrying a travel toothbrush with you to use after meals out. While it’s important to brush at least twice a day, you shouldn’t neglect cleaning between your teeth with floss at least once a day. Following flossing, brush your teeth and braces until the fully clean and shiny. The best time to perform the most thorough cleaning of your teeth is at night right before bed. You also need to make sure you schedule regular checkups with your dentist every six months, or more frequently if your orthodontist in Tillamook, Oregon at Senestraro Family Orthodontics recommends additional care. Your dentist will not only make sure your teeth remain healthy, he or she will also make sure your braces, brackets, and wires all remains clean and functional.

Brushing With Braces

Brushing your teeth while wearing braces isn’t that much different than brushing without braces. You still need to use a toothbrush with soft bristles, and you still nee to brush for at least two minutes each time you brush. It’s important that you continue replacing your toothbrush or toothbrush head once every three months, or sooner if the brackets and wires of your braces cause the brush wear down more quickly. Make sure you brush all parts of your teeth, including the back, and you still brush the roof of your mouth and tongue.

Cleaning Between Your Braces

The wires that link your brackets together can make it challenging to floss between your teeth. However, with a little extra effort, it can be done correctly. You just need to take a little time to go slowly and make sure you get under the gum line. A floss threader, a tool that allows dental floss to easily get underneath wires, may help ease the flossing process. There are also a number of interdental cleaners that might make flossing even easier. Make sure to ask your orthodontist during your next visit to Senestraro Family Orthodontics.