Taking great care of your teeth is always important, especially for patients with braces. When you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, it’s important to brush consistently after every meal or snack to maintain your oral health. Flossing must also become a regular part of your daily routine. Depending on your oral health, Dr. Trammell and Dr. Schanilec may recommend flossing after each meal—otherwise, patients must floss daily.
When you have braces, tiny bits of food can easily lodge in your teeth. Since your braces act as a ledge for food particles to lay against the teeth, the bacteria that surround the food particles are more likely to cause damage to your enamel than when you weren’t wearing braces. This is why a dedicated, careful, regular oral healthcare routine is absolutely vital for every patient.
Brushing with Braces
As a rule, you should adjust to brushing your teeth thoroughly after every snack and meal. This rule is very important to your oral health; however, we understand that you may run into a situation from time to time that prevents you from immediately brushing your teeth. If this is the case, rinse your mouth as thoroughly as possible with water.
Dr. Trammell and Dr. Schanilec recommend that patients with braces brush using a soft toothbrush with rounded bristles and fluoride toothpaste. Soft toothbrushes wear out quickly, and braces speed up the process, so it’s important to replace your toothbrush frequently anytime you notice signs of wear. Brush your teeth using small circular motions, ensuring you go slowly and brush:
- The front of the teeth above the braces
- The front of the teeth below the braces
- The chewing surface of each tooth
- The back of each tooth
- All braces, brackets and wires
When you brush, focus on scrubbing each and every surface where food particles could possibly by hiding. This includes all parts of your braces and every angle of your teeth and gums. After brushing, your braces should look clean and shiny, and you should be able to see the edges of the brackets clearly and crisply.
Flossing with Braces
Follow Dr. Trammell’s and Dr. Schanilec’s instructions on flossing strictly, whether they recommend flossing after every meal, morning and night, or once a day. The techniques and goals of flossing with braces are the same whether or not you wear braces: floss between each tooth, going up and around the top of each side of each tooth between the gums.
Braces will likely make the task of flossing a bit more difficult and time-consuming than before. Since you need to go under each wire to floss around the top of your teeth and under your gums, you’ll need to use a floss threader. Floss threaders are reusable tools designed to help get dental floss underneath the wires of braces easily. Contact us at Schanilec & Trammell Orthodontics if you need help learning to use this device or have any questions about your brushing and flossing routine.