When you got your braces, the technician spent a few minutes showing you some braces cleaning techniques. They showed you briefly how to clean around the brackets and wires. The chances are that you barely paid attention, and we understand that. You just got braces, and your mouth was sore. You were probably tired, excited, and 50 other emotions rolled into a jumbling ball of “Let me out of here!”

It wouldn’t be good if we didn’t understand the mixed barrage of feelings about getting braces. We want you to have a winning smile while wearing your braces, so it will be an incredible smile when you get your braces off.

Why Cleaning Your Braces is Important

Braces cleaning techniquesBraces create a gazillion nooks and crannies. The edges of each bracket hide food particles and can develop plaque. Food particles hide under the archwire, where they can create tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. We understand that oral hygiene takes time out of your busy day, but it’s essential.

Skimping on taking care of your braces can create problems later. If you get a cavity, your dentist may need to remove your braces to fill it. Then you’ll be back at the orthodontist for a new bracket and adjustment.

It also makes a difference when you get your braces off. After months of wearing braces, the last thing you want is to have a less-than-perfect smile. Caring for your teeth while wearing braces means having that perfect smile when getting them off.

5 Surefire Tips for a Winning Smile

We have a list of five tips to keep you on the path to a great smile while wearing braces. Some are just common sense. Some you might remember from your brief time with the technician after getting your braces. After the tips, we’ll give you instructions on creating a braces care kit. You can keep your kit in your backpack to make having braces a little easier.

Tip #1 — Floss Every Day

At least once every day, take the time to give your teeth a good flossing. Using a floss threader can help make it easier. This handy device works sort of like your grandma’s sewing needle threader. If you aren’t familiar with this dental tool, here is a brief instruction guide on how to floss using a floss threader.

Start with a piece of floss about 18 to 24 inches long. Thread about 5 inches of it through the loop in the floss threader. Thread the point of the threader between your wire and your teeth. Pull the threader completely through, leaving the floss in place. Using the same technique as without braces, floss between the two teeth, making sure to go to the gum line. Repeat the process until you have flossed between all your teeth.

Tip#2 — Brush with a Soft Toothbrush at Least Twice Daily

Brushing twice daily for at least two minutes should already be a habit. With braces, you may find it easier to use a side-to-side brush stroke instead of an up-and-down motion. Make sure to cover each quadrant completely, rinsing as necessary.

Dentists and orthodontists recommend using a soft-bristled brush to protect your teeth and the braces. Brushing with a stiffer bristle brush may damage tooth enamel. You don’t need to press harder with a soft-bristled brush. Maintain even pressure, keep the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, and gently brush.

Tip#3 — Use a Circular Motion Around Each Bracket

Use the tip of your brush and make circular motions around each bracket. This loosens and removes food that may be hiding in the nook and crannies we discussed earlier.

Tip#4 — Avoid Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste can be a great thing, but not with braces. The brackets are bonded to your teeth with a dental adhesive. The tooth under each bracket won’t get whitened when you brush using whitening toothpaste. When you get your braces off, you may have tiny, dingy squares of unwhitened tooth standing out against the exposed area.

When you get your braces off, you can use over-the-counter tooth whitening products to boost your smile. Your dentist and orthodontist may also offer professional teeth whitening products. So, avoid whitening toothpaste and opt for a touch-up after you have your braces removed.

Tip#5 — Use Mouthwash at Night

For fresh breath and to give your mouth some extra fight-power at night, use a mouthwash before bed. Find a mouthwash with anti-cavity properties and added fluoride. Try to rinse for at least a minute, swishing the liquid around all your teeth.

Tools to Make Braces Cleaning Techniques Easier

Making a braces tool kit will make your life easier. The suggested tools to include are things you already have. You’re just assembling them into one container for easy access. To make your tool kit, you’ll need:

  • A new pencil with an unused eraser
  • Dental floss
  • Floss threaders
  • Toothpicks
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Sterilized tweezers
  • Sterilized nail clippers
  • Dental wax

You can store these items in a zippered baggie, small make-up case, or even a small pencil case. Keep it in your purse, backpack, or briefcase.

How to Use Your Tool Kit

The pencil eraser can gently push a broken wire down and away from the delicate parts of your mouth. Once it is neatly folded, you can use a dab of dental was to hold it in place until you can get to the orthodontist to have the wire repaired correctly.

The sterilized tweezers can be used to move broken wires to protect your mouth from pointy ends. If a wire is in a bad spot or too short to fold out of the way, you can clip it using the nail clippers. Always add a dab of dental wax to the wire end to keep it from poking you.

The rest of the contents are self-explanatory.

Good Braces Cleaning Techniques will Make Your Smile Awesome

The purpose of having braces is to make your smile great. It makes sense to use good braces cleaning techniques during treatment. If you have any questions, the helpful staff at Northeastern Braces can help. Don’t hesitate to contact the office for questions or get more tips.

You may use our Contact Form or call us at either of our offices.

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