If you’ve just gotten your braces from Bowen Family Orthodontics and are wondering how to brush your teeth with your new appliance, you’ve come to the right place. Getting braces is an exciting part of your smile story. As the first step towards the grin you’ve always wanted, braces come with a huge learning curve — which is why Dr. Bowen is here to help along the way!
Your journey with braces comes with many new responsibilities, and one of the biggest responsibilities is re-learning how to brush your teeth properly. You don’t want to end up with a spotty smile.
If there were an equation for a straight smile, it would probably look like this: Dr. Bowen + YOU = the smile of your dreams. It may feel intimidating to learn about your role in your braces journey, but when it comes to brushing your teeth with braces, Bowen Family Orthodontics is here to explain. Let’s get going.
Tip #1: Rinse Your Mouth
Before you ever pick up the toothbrush, you can do a lot of good to your braces and smile simply by rinsing your mouth as often as possible. Rinsing your mouth with water, mouthwash, or even a water flosser is a great way to maintain the cleanliness of your teeth throughout the day. Rinsing keeps your breath smelling fresh, and it also removes food particles that can easily become lodged in between brackets or teeth. You don’t want to “save your food for later,” and regularly rinsing can help ensure you don’t.
Water flossers are excellent tools for keeping your mouth rinsed and clean. Although they can’t replace regular dental floss, they are a perfect supplement for your rinsing routine. Like traditional dental floss, water flossers like the WaterPik use a steady stream of water to dislodge food particles from those hard-to-reach places in your mouth.
Tip #2: Learn the Why Behind Brushing
Think about pulling back a chair that’s been sitting in one spot on your carpet for years. The color is different, right? Eeek! That’s how braces work if you haven’t brushed your teeth properly: remove the bracket, and you’ll see what the color used to be.
You’ve probably heard that you should brush your teeth, but you might never have understood the “why” behind brushing (although we’re hoping the carpet analogy does the trick). Although the simple 2-minute method of brushing that your dentist taught you is still the best way to manage your teeth without braces, it is only the foundation for brushing with braces. You need to take multiple extra steps when brushing with braces, and knowing why makes all the difference.
While your braces are still on, it can be hard to tell if your teeth are staining underneath; typically, Dr. Bowen won’t see signs of staining until she removes your braces. Luckily, with a stellar oral hygiene routine, you won’t have to worry about staining when Dr. Bowen removes your braces. You’ll just see a pearly-white smile.
Tip #3: Re-Learn How to Brush
We know, we know — you’ve been brushing your teeth for years! It should be like riding a bike, right — you always know how? Even though this tip seems obvious, brushing with braces is an added dental challenge! Because of this challenge, you may need to relearn some of your old brushing methods.
Start by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. You’ll need to use a gentle, circular motion over the top, bottom, and front of your teeth to make the entire tooth shine. That means you will be brushing in three different positions for each part of your mouth for 30 seconds each, for two to three minutes of brushing. Don’t forget to brush the backs of your teeth, along your gum line, and your tongue! Plaque is pesky and can hide anywhere.
Tip #4: Use Your Home Care Kit
When your team at Bowen Family Orthodontics applies your braces, you’ll receive a home care kit filled to the brim with all sorts of fun tools for keeping your teeth clean. You’ll find a soft-bristled toothbrush, a proxabrush, and a floss threader in this kit. These tools will help you brush between and around each bracket and wire.
Toothbrush: Dr. Bowen recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing with braces. The soft bristles protect the metal braces from scratching or breaking.
Proxabrush: Your proxabrush (the tool that looks like a pipe cleaner) is designed to scrub between brackets and underneath wires. This tool is essential to ensure you don’t miss any hard-to-reach places in your mouth.
Floss Threader: Your floss threader works like a needle to help you to floss beneath the wires to remove all food particles and hidden plaque.
Tip #5: Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal
Since you could first hold a toothbrush, you’ve probably been told to brush your teeth morning and night to keep your teeth happy and healthy. That’s a good rule of thumb, so don’t stop brushing twice a day! But when you’re dealing with a mouth full of braces, you’ll need to up the ante just a bit.
Because there are so many new places for bacteria to hide and form plaque, now that you have braces, you’ll need to brush your teeth after every meal you eat. Doing so nips plaque in the bud, making it harder for food to become stuck in your teeth and lead to harmful bacteria. Plaque will never stand a chance against brushing habits as good as these, which means you’ll be able to expect a bright white smile when your braces come off.
Brush With Bowen!
Our team of experts at Bowen Family Orthodontics is trained to help you get the smile you desire. We are ready to guide your smile success journey from beginning to end without a hitch, and we’re here to answer any questions you may have about brushing your teeth with braces.
If you’re just here researching before you get your braces applied, take this as a sign to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Bowen today!