Caring for Your Teeth and Gums While Wearing Braces

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Having an aligned smile can help you look and feel more confident, speak more clearly, and chew more effectively. While wearing traditional braces, you want to maintain high oral hygiene standards.

Keeping bits of food and plaque from collecting in your teeth, brackets, and wires, and helps prevent decalcification of tooth enamel (white spots you can see when the braces come off). Plaque buildup can lead to swollen and inflamed gums and of course, cavities unless you remove it every day. This requires daily brushing and flossing.

To Brush:
At least twice a day, remove the remove bands or elastic and rinse well to loosen oral debris. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, carefully and thoroughly clean around your braces. Brush the wires, top to bottom, and around each tooth and gumline. Pay attention to all tooth surfaces–top, bottom, front and back, rinsing well afterward.

Tip: If brushing with a manual toothbrush is challenging, an electric toothbrush can help. They are easy to use and highly effective.

To Floss:
Find a flossing tool that’s easy for you to use and floss at least once a day. You can choose between waxed flossers, dental tape, self-threaded flossers, and interdental flossers made for braces. To protect the braces hardware, floss carefully, and reach under the main wire and between each set of teeth. Slide up and down gently, and repeat until teeth have been wiped. Don’t leave behind any trapped bits of food.

Tip: If flossing is challenging for you, a water flosser can help. 3X as effective as regular flossing methods, they often come with an orthodontic tip to clean around braces to remove plaque and debris.

If you would like to know more, please call Shenandoah Valley Orthodontics at 540-667-9662. Our orthodontists, Dr. Damon W. DeArment and team in Winchester, Virginia are here to support your journey to a healthy, beautiful smile!