If you wear dental braces, you know that keeping them clean requires some extra effort. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do that will make that task much easier.
- Drink Plenty of Water
- Choose an Appropriate Toothbrush
- Avoid Eating Food That Gets Stuck Easily in Braces
- Use Floss Threaders
- Supplement Daily Flossing with an Oral Irrigator
Drinking water is an obvious way to keep braces clean, because it helps wash away the food that gets stuck, and allows for a healthy production of saliva. Saliva helps prevent dry mouth and cavities. However, as a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered, almost half of Americans don’t drink enough water. Keeping hydrated is not only the simplest way to keep braces clean, but it’s also crucial for your overall health because water is essential for proper functioning of all body processes.
When it comes to choosing a standard toothbrush, the slimmer and softer the bristles, the better. Slim bristles get in between teeth better than regular-sized bristles, and soft bristles are gentle on the braces. Ortho heads of electric toothbrushes are even better than standard toothbrushes at removing food that gets stuck in the wires. As a supplement to toothbrushing, interdental brushes are cone-shaped and can easily squeeze through the spaces between teeth and around the brackets.
Of course, avoiding sugary candy of all kinds should be a priority for everyone concerned with their oral health, but soft and chewy candies, like Starburst and caramel, are more prone to getting stuck in braces. Corn on the cob, gum, and popcorn are also enemies of braces.
Floss threaders make it easier to clean between your teeth while wearing braces. These stiffened plastic pieces help you thread floss through the arch wires so you can get reach the floss between your teeth.
Also known as a water flosser, water jet, or Waterpik®, this device uses a stream of pressurized water to remove food debris from between teeth, from around the brackets of braces, and even from below the gumline. String flossing and oral irrigation are a powerful combination for keeping braces clean and teeth free of cavities.
More Questions? We Have Answers!
With proper preventive dental care and daily cleaning, you braces and teeth will remain healthy during the duration of your orthodontic treatment. Contact us if you have any further questions about how to keep your braces clean, or if you’d like to schedule a braces consultation with Dr. Allen.