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If you are wearing braces for the first time, you may be excited to embark on a journey towards a beautiful smile. But, you may have noticed that braces do require more attention to keep them clean.  You may have already been spending more time in the bathroom, carefully brushing and cleaning the tiny spaces within your braces.  This is good, as food particles that get trapped in those tiny spaces can cause plaque to build up and cavities to form.  However, do you know the main steps to keeping up with excellent oral hygiene while wearing braces? Your orthodontist will be able to answer any specific questions you have, but we went ahead and outlined some basic tips below.  


Brush Your Teeth Each Time You Eat

Brushing your teeth is the most important step to practicing excellent oral hygiene when you have braces.  And, now that you wear braces, you may want to step your brushing routine up a notch.  You will need to not only brush twice daily and floss, but you should brush your teeth after each time you eat, so that includes snacks. This will keep your braces clean and prevent stains from forming on your teeth.  It is also recommended that you rinse with water or mouthwash to help loosen food particles so that they are easier to remove.  


How to Clean Your Braces

Here is a recommended, step-by-step approach to cleaning braces…


Step 1. Begin with rinsing your mouth with mouthwash or water to loosen up food particles that may have gotten stuck between your braces.

Step 2.  With an interdental brush, start to clean in between every set of brackets. This brushes away debris and keeps your braces clean. It also gets to places a regular toothbrush cannot reach.

Step 3. Now use a regular toothbrush, holding it at a 45-degree angle will make it easier to reach around the wires and pins of your braces.  You will need to brush from top to bottom of every wire to successfully remove all debris. 

Step 4. Next, use your toothbrush to get along the gum line.  Use a circular motion while brushing, and be gentle. Take your time and do not rush!

Step 5. After the brushing, comes the flossing.  This is really important, especially if you wear traditional braces.  Your orthodontist may be able to suggest special flossing tools to make the task easier.  

Step 6. Last step is to rinse with mouthwash or water.  Now you are all set! 


Special Tools to Make Cleaning Braces Easier

As mentioned above, there are a few tools that can help make taking care of braces easier.  First, there is an interdental brush, which is a tool to help get in between the brackets of your braces.  It also reaches under the metal wires of your braces.  Without the use of this special tool, you may miss a lot of food particles and debris that get trapped in between your braces.   

Next, there is a tool called a floss threader.  A floss threader helps to get the floss in between your teeth while you are wearing braces.  It kinda works like a needle and thread, and works exceptionally well when it comes to flossing those hard to get to areas.  

Finally, there is a tool called a 4 tuft interdental brush.  This special brush is extremely useful to get into the gaps and spaces between your teeth.  You can use this brush to clean the brackets of your braces.  


Continue to Visit Your Orthodontist and Dentist

When you wear braces you need to see your orthodontist for regular visits so that your braces can be checked.  The orthodontist needs to check that your braces treatment is working correctly.   So, do not skip these valuable appointments!

You will also need to make sure to schedule regular, annual checkups with your dentist.  A routine dental checkup is just as important as your orthodontist appointments.  Annual checkups with your dentist screen for gum disease and cavities.  And, you need to have an annual cleaning every six months, just as you did before braces treatment.  Rest assured, if you follow our tips, and keep your appointments with your orthodontist and dentist, you will be able to see that your oral hygiene routine is working.


It is all Worth it in the End

Yes, braces can be a hassle.  Cleaning and caring for your braces takes a lot more effort, but it is worth it in the end when you gain the smile you have always desired.  It may be challenging at first to establish a good routine to care for your braces, but stick with it.  Eventually, it will be just another smart habit that you follow because you want to take good care of your oral health. 

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