How to Brush Teeth with Braces

Gentle Family Dentistry
382 US Highway 46 Suite 3A
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
(973) 691-1200


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BRUSHING TEETH WITH BRACES IN Budd Lake

Getting braces to straighten your teeth is a common dental procedure, but it creates some dental care challenges for the person wearing them. One of the issues many patients have, is brushing the teeth. Here are some tips to help make it easier.


PLAQUE IS STILL THE ENEMY

Braces are designed to apply constant pressure to your teeth to straighten and align them. But to do this, that complex grid-work needs to be fixed on your teeth. However, while braces will straighten your teeth for a better aligned, more healthy mouth, they’re not adding extra protection. In fact, in some ways, they do the opposite.

Plaque is the build-up of bacteria on your teeth. If left unattended, plaque can attack the enamel of your teeth, eventually causing tooth decay, cavities and even affecting the gums. While plaque typically attaches itself to teeth, it can just as easily affix itself to braces. Although it can’t actually hurt the braces, plaque can use the braces as a “beachhead” or foundation from which to spread to the teeth and gums.


BRUSHING WITH BRACES

In many ways, brushing your teeth—even with braces—is not markedly different from what you would normally do. You can use either a regular or a powered toothbrush, and the same motions required for brushing teeth can still be used.

One important thing to note is that because of the hard, metallic surface of braces, vigorous brushing will likely wear out a toothbrush even faster than usual. Therefore, if you are an aggressive brusher, or use a powered toothbrush, you may find that you need to replace your brush at a faster rate than previously. An end rounded bristle can be more effective with braces than a regularly shaped toothbrush.


FLOSSING WITH BRACES

Flossing is still an essential task, especially now that there are more areas for food to get trapped. If you are using regular dental floss, it can be more time consuming and difficult to properly floss teeth, but it’s still possible. Another option is to use a tool called a “floss threader,” which significantly lessens the difficulty of getting floss under or between arch-wires.

A final option is to use a water flosser, which, while not quite as effective as regular dental floss, is still a very effective boost in getting plaque out from hard to reach places that a toothbrush finds difficult.


Oral care with braces is just as important as ever, although it does require an adjustment period and some changes to maintain clean teeth and gums. With a little practice and some changes to your technique, however, you can ensure that your teeth stay healthy so that you’re ready for the day when the braces come off with a happy, healthy mouth. Contact our team at Gentle Family Dentistry today for more information.