How to Clean your Teeth with Braces to Keep them Healthy
Many of us will go through orthodontic treatment to realign our teeth at some point in our lives. Tiny orthodontic brackets or wires are usually fitted to the front or back surfaces of the teeth. Over many months or even years, they slowly move the teeth into a better position.
If you wear braces, then you’ll know that cleaning around and under wires and brackets is extremely hard. You can make it a little easier by adopting a simple 1-2-3 routine: Brush, Clean between teeth, Rinse. Follow our step-by-step guide for some top tips from professionals.
How to brush your teeth with braces
How to floss your teeth with braces
How to clean between the teeth
Use a mouthwash
Why is cleaning so important during my orthodontic treatment?
Keeping your mouth clean during your orthodontic treatment can be more difficult and time-consuming than usual. But if it’s not done properly, it might lead to serious issues, as braces act as a trap for food particles and bacteria.
As you may already know, bacteria are responsible for several oral issues, so if you wear braces you are at risk more than others. These include:
- Dental plaque build-up. This sticky, pale yellow film on the surface of your teeth is made up of bacteria. If not removed, it can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues.
- White spots on teeth. When plaques and cavities attack your teeth, the enamel becomes weak and white spots appear – but you will only notice them when your braces are removed.
- Cavities. Cavities are holes in your teeth. Signs include a brown spot on the surface of your tooth or pain in a tooth. They can lead to tooth decay, pain, infection, or even tooth loss.
- Gum inflammation. When plaque accumulates between teeth, you might experience swollen, purple, tender, or bleeding gums. This is called gingivitis and it is the first sign of gum disease.
- Sores and blisters. If a wire brakes or sticks out of a bracket or a band poking your cheek, tongue or gum, painful and uncomfortable sores and blisters can appear and hurt very badly.
Speak to your dentist or orthodontist if you notice any of these symptoms.