Braces are still a common choice for orthodontic treatment today. They are the durable and are the fastest type of treatment. However, they have the potential to build up a lot of plaque unless you step up your oral hygiene routine and brushing techniques.
Remember the 45 Degree Rule
Remember the 45 degree rule when brushing your braces. On the lower teeth, point your brush slightly upwards to get under the groove of the bracket, and downwards for the top teeth. Most food will get stuck on the sides of your braces, in between your cheek and teeth. Get in the habit of using a toothpick or floss after meals; this will make brushing more manageable.
Treat Your Brackets Like They Are Part Of Your Tooth
Don’t let plaque build up in spots next to the brackets as this could lead to discolouration of the tooth or cavities in between teeth. Your brackets and wires will create more grooves for bacteria to settle and multiply. Prevent this by adding a daily brushing to your routine after each meal. You can still floss with braces, just look for dental floss with hard tips or flossing lassos to get under the wire. You may also need a toothbrush with harder bristles, so they don’t get stuck in or damaged by your brackets.
Make Healthy Choices
Prevention of plaque build-up starts with making wiser choices with what you eat. You don’t need to drastically change your diet when you have braces, but consider avoiding foods that make you work harder to keep your teeth clean. For example, popcorn, liquorice, gummy candy, jerky, and taffy will get stuck in your braces worse than other foods. Your daily brushing routine will simply be easier when you avoid a short list of gooey and tough-to-eat foods. Ask your orthodontist which foods he or she recommends staying away from.