Monday, May 16, 2016

Got braces? Here's how you should be cleaning your teeth!

Having braces can be a pain - both figuratively and literally! But they're often a necessity for a healthy, attractive smile. Unfortunately, braces can make simple things like brushing and flossing a little more difficult.

Here are a few tips to help keep your teeth healthy while you're undergoing orthodontic treatment.

1. Be Thorough

When you have braces, removing plaque can be a little more challenging, but it's all the more important to do so. Plaque should be thoroughly removed from your teeth a couple of times EVERY DAY, ideally right after meals and snacks. All those brackets and wires in your mouth create perfect places for food particles to get stuck, leading to bacteria and plaque build up. This can lead to cavities, swollen gums, bad breath and staining.

2. Remember to Floss

As important as brushing is, flossing should also be done when you're in braces. Try to floss at least once a day, every day. It's best to floss first then brush afterward. Most orthodontists and dentists will recommend making this part of your nightly routine just before bed.

3. See Your Dentist More Often

While most people can get by with seeing their dentist twice a year, when you have braces you may want to schedule routine visits every four months instead of every six. Again, having all that hardware in your mouth makes it harder to keep your teeth and gums clean. Let your dental professionals help you out so you can avoid having further problems like cavities.

4. Brush the Right Way

Brushing isn't all that different when you have braces, but there's definitely a right way and a wrong way  to brush your teeth - whether you've got braces or not! 

You should brush your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush or power toothbrush, unless your dentist tells you otherwise. Take your time and make sure you're brushing for at least two minutes. Try using a brush with a rounded brush end if you find your manual brush isn't getting around the brackets very well.

If your braces look shiny and you can see the edges of the brackets clearly, you've done a thorough brushing!

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