In our previous article, we gave some advice to brace wearers about the importance of taking care of their teeth and having a tooth-friendly diet while on orthodontic treatment. In this article, Dr. Muraqa explains how to take care of your braces at home.
A few simple steps for oral care while wearing braces
Dr. Muraqa’s advice for keeping your teeth, gums, and braces in great shape are as follows:
- If you are wearing elastics, remove them before brushing.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a small soft toothbrush, place your brush at an angle of 45 degrees against the gums. Gently brush along the gum line where the gums and teeth meet, use a small circular motion on each tooth.
- Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving on to the next tooth, brush in a set pattern so that you don’t miss any tooth.
- Gently brush the braces. Press your toothbrush firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth. Brush in and around all of the brackets and wires. Ensure that you brush under the wires. A power brush may be helpful.
- Brush both the inside and the outside surfaces of your teeth using a gentle circular motion on each tooth.
- For the chewing surfaces, use a firm back-and-forth motion.
- Spit out excess paste then closely inspect your teeth and braces in the mirror to check that they are clean and shiny.
- Don’t forget to replace your elastics.
- Use other oral care products as instructed by your orthodontist or hygienist.
Fluoride and oral care products
According to Dr. Muraqa, using fluoride toothpaste twice a day is one of the most proven ways to stay decay-free. Fluoride makes teeth more resistant to the acids produced after eating or drinking and returns minerals that are lost in the early stages of tooth decay. Studies have shown that brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is more effective in preventing tooth decay than only brushing once a day. Dr. Muraqa emphasizes the fact that the best times to brush your teeth are in the morning and before bedtime.
Dr. Muraqa explains that because the risk of tooth decay may be higher while you are wearing braces, your orthodontist may recommend other fluoride products that give you additional protection. Your orthodontist may also recommend special cleaning aids such as interdental brushes.
Ask your orthodontist or hygienist to show you how to use them.
For effective oral care products, we recommend the Elgydium products