Brushing and flossing can be a little more complicated with dental braces, but it has never been more important! Any type of dental appliance just provides more places for plaque and bacteria to hide in, so it is imperative that you are cleaning your teeth even more often and thoroughly than ever.
Brushing Your Braces
You should already be using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Make sure you are brushing with moderate pressure and place the toothbrush at an angle so that when you are brushing, you will feel the bristles under your gum line. Use small circular motions while brushing at this angle.
Completely clean each surface of each tooth in your mouth, including the areas above, below, behind and between each bracket. The surface of every tooth should be scrubbed with five to ten circular strokes of your toothbrush. Do not forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth! All in all, this process should take two to three minutes. Keep in mind that brushing your hardware will wear out your toothbrush faster than usual. Be sure to replace it whenever the bristles begin to fray.
When wearing braces, you should be brushing at least four times per day:
- After breakfast
- After lunch (or once you get home from school or work)
- After dinner
- Before you go to bed
Flossing Your Braces
Just as with brushing, flossing your teeth becomes even more important when you have dental braces or any other kind of dental appliance. There are two methods you can use to floss with braces more easily: by using Superfloss or a floss threader.
Flossing with Superfloss
A piece of Superfloss has three parts consisting of a straight, stiff end, a soft and spongy middle section, and normal floss on the other end.
There are two steps in using Superfloss. Firstly, you will pass the stiff, straight end of the floss under the archwire of your braces, between two teeth. Secondly, you will slip the regular floss end carefully between the two teeth and pass up and down in a C-shape against each tooth. Repeat these steps for every tooth in your mouth.
Flossing with A Floss Threader
You will be provided with a floss threader when you get your braces, but they are also available for purchase wherever you can buy floss.
This small contraption is easy to use. Use a piece of dental floss about 12 inches long. Use the floss threader to get a 10-12-inch piece of floss under the archwire of your braces and then slide the floss up and down along the tooth surface. Be careful not to pull too hard on your archwire.
No matter how you choose to do it, you should floss at least once a day. In combination with your braces, consistent brushing and flossing will result in a beautiful smile! If you have any questions about brushing and flossing with braces in Colorado Springs, Colorado, please call Lockett Orthodontics today at 719-309-6823 and schedule an appointment with our orthodontist, Dr. Rhoda Lockett!