Getting braces is a major milestone! Even still, Dr. Bigman knows that the very first day he applies your braces, you’re already dreaming of the day he takes them back off. That’s natural — who wouldn’t be thrilled to see a new set of straight, white teeth?
However, when it comes to straightening your smile, it takes two to tango. A successful smile does depend on the help of Dr. Bigman and his treatment plan, but the most important player in the braces game is you!
Your journey with braces comes with many new responsibilities, and one of the biggest responsibilities is re-learning how to brush your teeth properly. With all those brackets and wires in your mouth, there are a lot of new places for bacteria to hide, which could lead to staining. You don’t want to end up with a spotty smile, and we don’t want you to either! But don’t worry. Bigman Orthodontics’ tips for brushing your teeth with braces will guide you to smile success.
Understand Why Brushing is Important
If you have been brushing your teeth your whole life, it makes sense to wonder why you have to change your routine with braces. After all, isn’t brushing obvious? While the simple 2-minute method of brushing that your dentist taught you is the best way to manage your teeth without braces, it is only a foundation for brushing with braces. You need to take multiple extra steps when brushing with braces, and knowing why makes all the difference.
Typically, poor brushing isn’t very noticeable until the day Dr. Bigman takes your braces off. We sometimes find discoloration around the area the bracket was attached when this happens. Permanent white spots may form on your teeth, causing a bleached-out look on only some parts of each tooth. Because these spots form around the bracket, it can be very apparent that they are due to poor brushing around braces. In other cases, improper brushing can leave behind brown spots, which are even more noticeable.
It can be very disappointing for patients who have worn braces for years to wind up with straight but spotty teeth. That’s why our list of tips for brushing with braces is about to become your best friend!
Understand How to Brush
Even though this seems obvious, brushing teeth with braces is an added dental challenge! Because of this challenge, you may need to relearn some of your old brushing methods.
You’ll need to use a gentle, circular motion with your toothbrush. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle on the top and bottom of your brackets to be sure to clean each tooth thoroughly. That means you will be brushing in three different positions for each part of your mouth for 30 seconds.
Don’t forget to brush the backs of your teeth, along your gum line, and your tongue! Plaque is pesky and can hide anywhere.
Brush After Every Meal
It may feel like second nature to brush your teeth morning and night. However, when braces come into the picture, the best way to ensure your teeth are clean is to brush them after each meal. The reason is that plaque can form quickly after eating, and plaque has a lot more places to hide when braces and wires and rubber bands are on your teeth. Brushing after every meal means plaque never gets the chance to form, and even if you do miss a section when brushing, you are much more likely to clean it later if you are brushing your teeth more often.
Use Your Home Care Kit
The day we put your braces on, Bigman Orthodontics will give you a goody bag filled with helpful tools that will help you keep your teeth clean. The essential items included in this kit are a toothbrush, proxabrush, and floss threader. Each of these tools allows you to clean around and between each bracket and tooth.
Dr. Bigman recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing with braces. The soft bristles protect your brackets. Your proxabrush is designed to scrub between brackets and underneath the wires, so you don’t miss any sections. Some orthodontic toothbrushes even come with a proxabrush head.
Your floss threader works like a needle to help you to floss beneath the wires to remove all food particles and hidden plaque.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Rinsing!
Rinsing your mouth with water, mouthwash, or even a water flosser is a great way to maintain the cleanliness of your teeth throughout the day. Rinsing keeps your breath smelling fresh, and it also removes food particles that can easily become lodged in between brackets or teeth. You don’t want to “save your food for later,” and regular rinsing can help make sure you don’t.
Water flossers are excellent tools for keeping your mouth rinsed and clean. Although they can’t replace regular dental floss, they are a perfect supplement for your rinsing routine. Like traditional dental floss, water flossers like the WaterPik use a steady stream of water to dislodge food particles from those hard-to-reach places in your mouth.
Learn How to Brush From the Pros at Bigman Orthodontics
The Bigman Orthodontics team has years of experience and training – that means we know how to guide your smile success story from beginning to end without a hitch. Dr. Bigman knows that one of the most important aspects of getting the most out of your journey with braces is making sure the team behind you knows how to support you.
When questions come up, whether they’re about brushing your teeth with braces or learning which treatment method is suitable for your unique smile, our team is here for you.
Haven’t set up a free consultation yet? Don’t hold back – schedule it today!