Top Tips for Cleaning Teeth While Wearing Braces
At Optismile we assist patients with straightening teeth and restoring smiles. However, it can be challenging to clean your teeth when in braces. This increases your risk of having gum disease, decay and bad breath.
We offer Invisalign Clear Aligners to get results faster than conventional braces. It is perfect for adults and teens that are looking for an alternative, but we offer oral hygiene cleaning for all patients, including those with braces.
Here are some cleaning tips:
Visit the oral hygienist at least every 6 weeks to 3 months depending on how well you are coping with cleaning your braces. Superfloss from Oral B is the best floss to use with braces as it has a hard section on one end used for threading the floss underneath the wire and between the teeth.
We give all our patients with braces, veneers, crowns, implants, bridges, periodontal problems and just generally difficult to reach areas, a Waterpik! Most of our patients are pretty much allergic to flossing so a Waterpik can be invaluable for almost all patients anyway! The ergonomic design of the Waterpik makes it easy to hold and use. Have a look at www.waterpikflosser.co.za for the various models available. The rechargeable device is by far the most popular and we sell them at cost!
Its a great shame to spend all the time and money having braces only to end up with unsightly demineralised areas on the teeth as well as decay and gum disease. Oral health should always come first.
Interdental brushes are amazing for carrying around and using at work after lunch or snacks for example. We love the Curaprox interdental brushes. They come in a variety of different sizes and are all easy to hold no matter your age. We always have them in stock!
A great alcohol free mouthwash is also a complete must! It helps you get to all those hard to reach places without causing dehydration in the mouth due to high alcohol content. We absolutely love the Philips Sonicare Breath Rx mouthwash, as well as the Gum / Butler Original white mouthwash available at Clicks / Dischem. We always have the Breath Rx mouthwash and Toothpaste in stock.
Use a toothpaste with good antibacterial agents as well as fluoride. There is an increased chance of plaque accumulation during braces, so you need as much help to prevent decay as possible. Again, the Breath Rx is our toothpaste of choice.
Brush twice a day with a manual toothbrush. I find the smaller the head the better so you can reach the back areas more easily. The braces already take up quite a large amount of space, limiting it even further. A kiddies toothbrush is perfect. Brush where the gums join the tooth, the angle down towards the brackets at 45 degrees, brush directly onto the brackets at 90 degrees, and lastly up towards (or down depending on which arch) the brackets. So, all in all four brush placements on the outside alone. Don’t forget to brush the biting surfaces and the inside of the teeth next to the tongue! I also find the electric toothbrushes’ heads get messed up very quickly with the braces so manual brushes are just easier!
Don’t avoid your Orthodontist. See them as prescribed – monthly or 6 weekly or when there is a problem. Always remember to still visit your regular dentist for check ups once a year even during braces. Your oral hygienist may clean and your orthodontist may check on the movement of your teeth but neither are doing a dedicated check up for cavities.