We’ve covered quite a bit of ground in our past few blogs, having discussed what foods you can and can’t eat while wearing braces (for a variety of reasons), among other blogs. In that “other” category would be a “mailbag” blog of sorts — we answered a few frequently asked questions that had to do with wearing braces, what an orthodontist does, and when orthodontic treatment should begin for a child who is in need of such care.
Tips For Cleaning Your Teeth & Braces
We’d encourage you to go back and read those blogs in their entirety, if you get the chance. However, we have a new topic to get to today: oral hygiene while wearing braces! We’ve highlighted a few tips in the past, but as far as we are concerned, this is a topic that should stay top of mind. Practicing consistent, thorough oral hygiene will leave your teeth in a vastly superior state after you take your braces off, so it’s important to incorporate these tips as much as you can. If you feel overwhelmed, that’s totally normal! But do your best to follow these regularly — you’ll thank us in the end!
- Interdental Toothbrush – An interdental toothbrush, also called a Proxabrush, is a between-the-teeth toothbrush that is used to clean around and underneath bands and brackets. We’d recommend buying a Proxabrush in order to avoid damaging your wires while being diligent in your teeth cleaning. Using an interdental toothbrush helps keep your teeth and gums healthy without disrupting what your orthodontist intends to accomplish with the positioning of your braces!
- Flossing – Flossing while wearing braces is an absolute must. Use floss threaders to help guide the floss under the wires (attempting to do so without any is quite frustrating). You might get annoyed with how difficult flossing proves to be, but take heart! You’ll get better at it with practice. Just don’t give up!
- Antibacterial Mouthwash – We recommend using Peroxyl, which is a hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse with antiseptic properties. This reduces inflammation in gums and cheeks while reducing irritation that can naturally occur when you first get your braces. What’s more, Peroxyl helps prevent infection. Use this kind of mouth wash up to four times a day, right after you brush. If you are a fan of helping your mouth heal, you might as well use Peroxyl, because that’s exactly what it works toward accomplishing!
- Fluoride – If you have braces, we strongly suggest using topical fluoride to help replace minerals in tooth enamel. Your tooth enamel has likely been exposed to damaging acids that lead to bacterial reproduction and tooth decay. Keep in mind, however, that using fluoride does not take the place of brushing your teeth or flossing. Do this once per day and be sure not to eat or drink for thirty minutes after using your topical fluoride. That way, the active ingredient(s) can do their work without interruption!
- Tongue Exercises – Yes, you read that correctly; we help you retrain your muscles to ensure you have optimal dental health while wearing braces. If you are a “tongue-thruster,” it means that your tongue fails to push food down the throat. Instead, the tongue thrusts forward, which leaves food at the tongue’s base. If this describes you, it’s likely that you take an inordinate number of drinks during your meal, as this effectively flushes the remaining food down. We will help you eliminate the need to drink while eating by providing you with three exercises to help you swallow properly — click, slurp, and squeeze. For details on these, be sure to check out our dedicated oral hygiene resource.
Give Us A Call!
We hope that you’ve found these oral hygiene tips to be practical. Of course, we are only scratching the surface when it comes to the full gambit of exercises and regimens that coincide with getting braces. Truth be told, getting braces isn’t a walk in the park. But given how much progress has been made in the field of orthodontia, there is a range of options which promote comfort while still prioritizing effectiveness.
If you are looking for a local orthodontist worth their salt, give us a call at Rogers & Andrews Orthodontics. We are experienced, kind, and passionate about what we do. Schedule your appointment with us today — we’d love to hear from you!