Cleaning Braces and Keeping Teeth Clean During Orthodontic Treatment
Thousands of people enter into orthodontic treatment each year and these people have to take extra special care to fight plaque and keep not only their teeth clean, but their braces and gums too, during treatment. Orthodontics include items such as braces, springs, rubber bands and wires, all of which will attract food and plaque and can even stain the teeth if you do not take the time to clean properly. Cleaning braces can seem like quite a challenge, but with a little patience and the correct technique, it is achievable.
General Tips for Cleaning Braces
- Brush teeth at least 3 times per day or after each meal. Each cleaning session should take around 3 minutes. Only brush a few teeth at a time to ensure that you are thorough.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash to get into the areas that you might have missed.
- Floss everyday with specialised orthodontic floss.
Also, be careful about the foods you eat. Of course you aren't expected to give up every food item that you love, and if you cut food into small pieces and chew carefully, you can enjoy just about anything.
Brushing alone, however will not remove all of the plaque. Superfloss should be used at least once a day to remove plaque between the teeth.
Types of Food to Avoid During Orthodontic Treatment
- Foods which are hard to bite such as apples, carrots and nuts
- Chewy food types such as toffee, chewing gum and caramel
We recommend that you make use of the following cleaning tools which you can buy on your next appointment with us:
- Specialised orthodontic toothbrush – this will not be too hard or too soft
- Interdental brushes – these are small brushes with a cone shape that are designed to fit under the wire and in small spaces around the brace bracket
- Superfloss – this is a type of dental floss that is designed for wide spaces. It has a harder, narrow end for easy threading through your braces and the spaces in your teeth
- Fluoride mouthwash
Professional cleaning every six months is needed and very important.