5 Quick Tips to Keep Your Braces Clean

Oct 30, 2019

Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? When you have braces, it might seem extra difficult to keep up with your oral hygiene (especially with all those brackets and wires getting in your way!) However, it is extra important to keep a clean mouth when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.  

The brackets and wires of your braces can trap food debris. Over time, this can lead to a buildup of bacteria, causing plaque to form on your teeth. If you haven’t properly cleaned your teeth and removed leftover food debris, you can end up with stained teeth after your orthodontic treatment—not to mention cavities! Follow these easy tips from Drs. Hutta and Cook to maintain excellent dental hygiene throughout your treatment. 

1. Pick the right tools

We recommend brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Check the head of your toothbrush regularly to examine for wear and tear. The brackets of your braces can wear down the bristles more quickly, and a worn-out toothbrush is less effective. Also, though you might have used a whitening toothpaste in the past, it’s best to avoid these dental products during your orthodontic treatment, as this could create an uneven whitening on the surfaces on your teeth. 

2. Take your time!

When you have braces, you should be brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice daily, if not more! If possible, we recommend brushing any time you complete a meal. When you brush, go slowly and make sure you brush every tooth at the gum line as well as above and below each of the brackets. This will ensure that you’ll reach all of the tooth’s surface, helping to prevent the buildup of plaque. 

3. Floss—we mean it!

Flossing is one of the most important things you can do to keep your mouth clean and healthy. You can buy a reusable floss threader to make flossing with your braces easier, or opt for Oral-B® Super FlossTM, which is specifically designed for flossing with braces. 

4. Rinse early, rinse often

It’s not always realistic to brush your teeth after every meal, so if you can’t brush, try to rinse your mouth out with water. This will help to remove some of the food debris left behind in your braces. Mouthwash is also a great option when you have braces, as it can kill some of the bad bacteria trapped in those hard to reach spaces!

5. Eat smart

Avoid certain foods and beverages that are bad for your oral hygiene. In particular, we recommend avoiding soft drinks—the combination of sugar and acid wreaks havoc on your oral health.

If you follow these simple tips, you can make sure your mouth stays healthy and fresh this National Dental Hygiene Month. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral hygiene routine, give our office a call.