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The misaligned teeth that have always been a reason of worry can be straightened with the regular use of braces. They can work wonders for your teeth, but getting the best outcome takes teamwork – it’s your task to keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing regularly, despite the presence of all the bands and wires that can make the job a bit harder to do.

With braces, good oral hygiene is more important than ever as food particles can accumulate on teeth and in between tiny spaces of braces, which over time turn into plaque. As a result, films of bacteria are formed which further lead to enamel staining and tooth decay around brackets or bands.

Here are some tips on brushing and flossing around dental braces, ensuring clean and healthy teeth, while your braces are helping you move toward a great-looking smile.

Brushing

brushing with braces

Credit: Deardoctor

All  dentists recommend that, with or without brace you use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head that’s good enough to reach all areas in your mouth, and applying moderate force and toothpaste that contains fluoride. The toothbrush must be able to brush all surfaces thoroughly, including the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of the teeth and the areas above, below and between each brace – for at least two minute and twice per day. Also make sure you brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

For effecting brushing, place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums while gently moving the bristles in a back-and-forth pattern. Once you are done cleaning the area, over on to the next one, working all the way around the mouth.

Special Brushing Tools

Interdental Toothbrush

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There are some special brushing tools available to help clean the areas near brackets and wires. The interdental toothbrush, or proxabrush looks like a pipe cleaner and has a small tuft of bristles all around and a grip on the end, to get in between teeth and wires, and into places a traditional toothbrush won’t reach. This keeps those slender spaces clear of food particles and debris.

Another cleaning tool is the Oral irrigators or “water picks” – that shoots a small stream of pressurized water and help dislodge bits of food around wires and bands. They cannot be used as a for a toothbrush or dental floss , but when used along with proper brushing and flossing techniques, can  help keep even the narrowest spaces clean.

Flossing

Flossing With Braces

Credit: Creamridgeortho

Brushing alone can’t remove all the bacteria; you need to dental floss at least once a day. Get a floss threader, pull one end through the threader and then push the threader under the acrhwire. This should be followed by grasping the floss on each end and sliding it up and down the sides of both teeth, chewing surfaces and all the way under the gums. Keep moving around the teeth and move on to the next area when it becomes soiled using a new section of floss.

If you ever wonder how effective your tooth cleaning techniques are, there’s an accurate way to tell, using a “disclosing solution” or tablet. The dyes dissolve in the mouth and highlight plaque that your brush and floss have missed. The process may require you to invest good deal of time and effort, but it’s an investment toward a brighter smile that can last for a lifetime.