Hacks to Keep Your Teeth Clean When You Have Braces

Hacks to Keep Your Teeth Clean When You Have Braces

We are lucky today to have many choices when it comes to getting a beautiful smile through transformative orthodontic treatment. Depending on your goals and preferences, Dr. Wayne Hickory can guide you to the right choice, and his caring team at Embassy Row Orthodontics is with you every step of the way to support you during treatment.

No matter what type of braces you ultimately decide on, keeping your teeth clean is priority #1. However, having orthodontic devices on your teeth can pose some challenges. That’s why we how to keep your teeth well-polished and free of food debris, even during treatment.

You have many braces options

Braces solve so many problems, from correcting misalignment of the teeth to crowding and more. Dr. Hickory will discuss what your options are after he performs a complete oral evaluation, and the choices include:

Treatment with Invisalign is the only option where you can remove the trays and clean your teeth as you would normally.

Top tips for keeping your teeth clean with braces

Excluding Invisalign, the other braces have components like wires and elastic bands that can make it easier for food to get caught and trapped against your teeth, making plaque more likely to develop. This can stain your teeth and lead to decay and gum disease.

If you wear braces, it’s smart to follow these tips to keep your teeth their cleanest:

  1. Brush after every snack and meal, so food is removed promptly and doesn’t linger in your mouth. Don’t forget to use fluoride toothpaste and opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush. When you brush, employ an upward motion from the bottom and then a downward motion from the top of your teeth. 
  2. Next, use a proxabrush, which is Christmas tree-shaped and designed to clean between braces. Brush from the top down again and then from the bottom up between two braces. Do this a few times for each tooth.
  3. Following up your brushing with a fluoride mouthwash means that even the remote nooks and crannies your toothbrush couldn’t reach will be cleaned.
  4. You may want to invest in a Waterpik® product or air flosser, which is also effective when it comes to food removal.
  5. When flossing, be gentle because you don’t want to break any of your hardware. Try putting the short end of the floss through the space between your primary archwire and the upper part of your tooth adjacent to your gum. Floss gently but intently so the sides of your teeth get cleaned. 
  6. Remember to keep up with your routine professional dental cleanings while under our care. If you take great care of your teeth while your braces are on and complement that care with visits to your family dentist, your teeth will be clean as a whistle when your braces come off.

While we’re discussing the importance of keeping your teeth clean when you have your braces on, it’s also important to follow Dr. Hickory’s advice about what foods to avoid while you’re under his care. Steer clear of sticky foods like taffy and caramels, hard foods like apples, carrots, and pretzels, corn on the cob, and tooth-staining liquids like tomato sauce and dark juices or wines. Go easy on coffee and tea as well.

If you are getting Invisalign treatment, you should always take your trays out when you brush and floss and rinse your mouth with mouthwash. Brushing each time you eat is also advised, and food can also get stuck to the trays, so it’s important to soak them using a denture cleaner or a special product Invisalign makes — never mouthwash or hot water, which can damage them.

Keep another soft-bristled toothbrush for cleaning your aligners, and clean them twice a day. 

You and Dr. Hickory are teammates, and with great treatment and excellent self-care, you’re sure to be dazzled when the “Big Reveal” happens, and you get your braces off.

Call our office at 202-342-9600 to schedule an appointment and learn more about orthodontic treatment, or contact us online. We look forward to giving you a stunning smile!

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