If you are wearing traditional braces, you may have noticed the areas of your teeth that are difficult to clean or hard to reach with regular brushing. In this blog article, we will explore some of the methods to keep your braced teeth clean while making sure not to damage the dental appliance in so doing.
As an important directive for patients wearing braces, your dentist would advise you to brush your teeth after every meal and each night before going to sleep. This is because it is easy for food particles to get trapped in the crevices between your teeth and the wires. Even gargling may not rid your teeth of the clinging food debris.
It is imperative that people with braces take extra caution with two things: Types of food they eat or avoid; and teeth cleaning method they employ.
Let’s first study the foods you should or shouldn’t eat:
Tough chews or hard bites: The majority of wear or damage of traditional brace appliances is due to eating of hard foods. You should also avoid biting with your front teeth to avoid loosening the brackets.
Sugary/ sticky foods: You should avoid sweet foods with high sucrose content as they catalyse the plaque build-up process. Also, toffees and candies that leave a residue of stickiness are to be avoided. Not only are they more difficult to remove from your teeth, they get easily trapped in the wires and brackets.
Raw foods: The mouth is a breeding ground for millions of bacteria, a condition made more precarious by the presence of uncooked food. People with braces should avoid eating raw foods as the oral appliance increase the risks of bacteria build-up in the mouth. The crevices between the wires, brackets and teeth surface provide nesting regions for the bacteria.
Chewing gum: When it comes to gums, you should only chew the sugarless type to avoid the same risks as foods with high sucrose content. The risks of plaque and tartar build-up for people with braces are higher than normal, so extra caution is warranted.
It is important that you maintain a twice daily brushing and flossing regime. As mentioned, it is more difficult to clean along the gum line or areas obstructed by the wires and brackets. Thankfully, there are specially designed brush heads with bristles that lets you remove plaque around the brackets more efficiently. These ortho-friendly brush heads are usually compatible with oscillating-rotating electric toothbrushes that allow deeper cleaning and higher plaque removal efficiency than manual brushing.
You should apply a thin lather of fluoride toothpaste on the bristles and brush from the back of the teeth all the way to the front. Remember to brush gently so as not to loosen or damage the dental appliance. Do not force the brushing pressure even if an area of the teeth cannot be cleaned. Replace the brush heads as frequently as instructed by the toothbrush manufacturer. Do not forget to bring the electric toothbrush along on your travels, particularly on extended out-of-town trips.
Want to find out more about our range of orthodontic solutions? Talk to a dentist at Face Value Dental. Call (07 3221 0677 to book a consultation with one of our friendly dentists.