Are you wearing braces to help straighten your teeth? While braces are a conventional treatment to improve smiles, expand the airway, balance the bite and provide other benefits, they can contribute to the development of gum disease if you're not practicing good oral hygiene. To help keep your mouth healthy, we've put together some tips on how to prevent gum disease while wearing braces.
Best Hygiene Practices With Braces
Start with these tips when caring for your teeth while wearing braces:
- Take off any parts that are removable, such as appliances.
- Floss. Yep, we said floss first. Research studies have shown that flossing before brushing yields the most benefits. Weave the floss above your primary wire. When you floss, we recommend using a gentle touch, taking care to make a 'C' shape under each tooth to get below the gumline.
- Brush. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush held at a 45-degree angle. Brush from top to bottom, using a circular motion, and clean all surfaces of the teeth.
- Brush again. We also recommend brushing with a special brush for braces known as a proxabrush. This brush has a thin wire and bristles coming from the center, so it can reach between the teeth and force out food debris.
We also recommend using a Water Pik or other type of water flosser daily to help further push out plaque and food debris. Additionally, we recommend throwing out toothbrushes that have damaged, bent or frayed bristles.
Diet Matters Too
People who wear braces should also avoid certain foods that can become stuck in the brackets and are hard to remove. These foods include hard candies, fruit snacks, gum or popcorn. These things are hard to remove, which means they could contribute to tooth decay and gum disease and may even damage your braces.
We also recommend seeing the dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings. This will help keep your smile healthy and looking great even after your braces are removed.
Do you have questions about the benefits of braces and how to keep your smile healthy? Legends Dental can help. Call 254-799-9540 to schedule a consultation or cleaning today.