Importance of Cleaning Teeth with Braces

As you can probably imagine, brushing and flossing your teeth with braces can be quite a chore. Because of this, many people tend to skip it or do a quick job, not getting a thorough cleaning every time. However, good dental hygiene is even more important than ever when you have braces.

Why It’s So Important

Bacteria and plaque--the things that cause cavities and gum disease--can hide in the smallest cracks and crevices in and around your teeth. When you add braces into the mix, the number of hiding places grows exponentially! It’s absolutely necessary to take your time and make sure you brush and floss every tooth. It's especially important since the longer plaque stays on your teeth, the harder it can be to remove.

Another reason dental hygiene is so important is because when you have braces, your mouth is constantly under pressure as your teeth shift position. Your mouth is constantly in the process of healing, and if you try to fight off gum disease at the same time, your immune system won’t be able to do its job as well.

How to Clean Your Teeth

When you brush your teeth, make sure the brush goes in between the teeth and the wires of the braces. You may want to invest in a special brush to make the job easier, although most normal toothbrushes will do the job. Clean your braces thoroughly as well. Although they can't get cavities, bacteria can build up on their surfaces and affect the rest of your mouth. If you’re having trouble getting the hang of it, ask your dentist in Fairbanks for more brushing tips.

Flossing can be a bit tricky as well--or at least more time-consuming than it used to be. You’ll need to thread the floss past the wire and then floss like normal, then move on to the next tooth. While it may take a few extra minutes, it’s the best way to remove food stuck in your braces and keep plaque from building up in between your teeth.

Foods to Avoid

If you have braces, there are certain foods you should avoid--not only because they might damage your braces, but because they can make it much more difficult to keep your mouth clean. Sticky foods like peanut butter can get stuck in your braces, as can small foods like nuts or popcorn. Chewy foods like steak or hard foods like apples and carrots may cause damage to your braces. If you accidentally eat something you’re not supposed to and feel or hear any sign of damage, see an emergency dentist in Fairbanks to make sure your teeth and braces are still intact.