Dental braces are quite common and are used to fix oral health concerns like crooked teeth, misalignment and overcrowding. While most people associate braces with adolescents, more and more adults today are seeking out this treatment to straighten their teeth. To be clear, braces are not just a cosmetic treatment. They impact the health of the oral cavity and can be crucial in improving the structure and function of the teeth. When you first get braces, your orthodontist will explain to you how important it is to follow the right techniques when you brush with braces. In this article, we will explore these techniques in greater detail.
Challenges of Brushing with Braces
Brushing with braces can be a little difficult. With metal wires or ceramic ties stuck to the teeth, patients may find it difficult to ensure that they can get rid of food particles from their mouth and gums. When food particles stay stuck between the teeth and gums for too long, they can harden with time and turn into plaque.
This is extremely dangerous as it can lead to a variety of health complications like gum disease, periodontal disease, and cavities. Furthermore, plaque and tartar put patients at risk for developing heart disease and stroke. This is because plaque can break off from the gums and line the blood vessels, leading to hypertension and heart attack. On the other hand, the plaque can also end up floating in the blood, which can cause it to contribute to a blockage in the vessels, leading to a stroke.
This is why patients who have braces need to be extra vigilant while brushing their teeth. At the end of the day, preventing diseases is always better than the pain of curing them.
How to Brush with Braces?
While brushing teeth with braces, patients need to follow these steps:
- Start by rinsing your mouth with water. This is an important step as it can help dislodge any loose food particles that are stuck on the wires or between your teeth.
- Use a special toothbrush while brushing your teeth with braces. Your orthodontist will give you this toothbrush while you get your braces, however they are also readily available in the market. They have a depression in the center that allows the bristles to fit over braces and teeth, letting patients clean them correctly.
- Remember to brush at different angles to ensure that all particles are cleaned out.
- Brush in a circular motion and be sure to reposition the brush under and over the wires and ties as you go along. This can ensure that all food particles are cleaned off your teeth meticulously.
- It is also important to floss with braces. While flossing with braces, you should ideally use a floss threader so that it can get between the teeth without tangling up in the braces. You can also use toothpicks if you feel that you’ve missed a few spots while brushing.
Dental problems can play havoc with your oral health and hygiene and it is essential to prevent them at all costs. Remember to brush your teeth after every meal, including snacks, because it is quite easy for food to get stuck in braces. If you are wearing retainers or Invisalign, you can always remove them before brushing. However, make sure that you soak them in warm water so that they stay clean and ready to be worn. Consult with your orthodontist on a regular basis to make sure that your teeth stay healthy throughout the duration of your treatment!