So what can you be doing to make sure you’re keeping your oral health in check while you’re wearing braces?
Brushing is important whether or not you wear braces, but it becomes especially important when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. When you wear braces, it’s much easier for pesky pieces of food and plaque to get trapped in the brackets and cause problems, so you should use a toothbrush with a soft head to access those hard-to-reach areas. If you prefer to use an electric toothbrush, that’s fine too.
Start off by brushing at the gum line of your teeth, holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards your gums. Once you’ve cleaned your gum line, hold your toothbrush at a downward angle on the top of your brackets, and then at an upward angle to clean the bottom of your brackets.
Although generally people only need to brush twice a day, if you wear braces then we’d always recommend brushing after every meal. Keeping a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste handy in your bag is an easy way to make sure your mouth is clean and sparkling!
Flossing while wearing braces can be a bit of a feat, but it’s a step in your oral hygiene routine that shouldn’t be ignored. Flossing helps to remove any plaque build-up, as well as any smaller food particles that are stuck in your braces or between your teeth. If you find it tricky to floss with flossing tape, try using floss threaders for braces or interdental brushes.
You can buy these in the supermarket or pharmacy, and they can help you manoeuvre around your brackets. Remember to be gentle when you’re flossing. Try not to apply too much pressure or go too quickly as you could damage your braces, which would mean a trip back to see the orthodontist!