Keeping your mouth and braces clean is very important when you have braces. At The Center for Beautiful Smiles, we try to help our patients how to clean them and why it’s so important. If you have any other braces questions, give us a call or send a message through our website to our Chula Vista office – 619 421 2155.
Reasons to Keep Braces Clean
Braces create lots of nooks and crannies in your mouth where small pieces of food can lodge and cause bacteria to build up. Plaque, which occurs in your mouth even without braces, can also build up around the brackets and bands and, if not removed, cause tooth decay, gum disease, and discoloration of your teeth – none of which you want!
How to Clean Braces
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and special braces toothbrush (round brush and pointy end) if possible. If not, then a soft regular toothbrush will work.
- Place the toothbrush at a 45° angle to your teeth along the gum line and brush using small circular strokes. Work the outer surface of each tooth, making sure to brush under the wire and around each bracket. Brush each tooth thoroughly.
- Continue brushing on the chewing surface and the inner (tongue-side) surface of each tooth.
- Brush the wires and brackets of each tooth. Don’t forget to brush around and behind the molars in the back.
- Dr. Pham will suggest that you use special orthodontic floss which has a stiffened-end threader that allows you to work under and around the wires, as well as remove plaque and food from under the gum line. He may have other tools to help you get around the appliances as well.
- Thread the floss under the wire and between the teeth, forming a “C” and working carefully under the gum line at the edge of each tooth. Remember to remove it be threading it out the front of back rather than pulling upward — the wire will block it from coming out!
- Flossing is extremely important when you have braces. It takes longer than without braces, but it is a step that cannot be skipped!
Keeping your teeth and braces clean takes time and commitment but you will be happy you with the results when your braces come off.