5th August 2022
5 Tips To Brushing Your Teeth With Braces
It’s true: braces can take some getting used to, and you’ll want to be sure you’re still caring properly for your teeth during treatment. Today, our Stourbridge dentists talk you through 5 top tips for brushing with adult braces, as well as some general information and advice about this popular orthodontic treatment.
Types of adult braces
First, let’s touch on some familiar types of adult braces:
- Fixed metal braces: These are attached to the front of the teeth by your orthodontist. They usually involve a combination of wires and brackets.
- Lingual braces: Similar to the above, these are a type of fixed metal brace that is attached to the back of the teeth.
- Invisible braces: The most popular brand name of these is Invisalign, and we specialise in treatment here in Stourbridge. These braces are clear plastic trays that can be removed for eating and drinking.
Now you know what you’re dealing with, let’s get into the tips.
Clean your braces throughout the day
For fixed adult braces, you’ll need to brush above and below your braces using slow, circular movements, as well as the front and back of the teeth. Interdental brushes can work into the tiny gaps between the brackets, and you can also gently brush your gums.
For removable braces like Invisalign, you can gently rinse the trays under warm water when removing and reinserting. You should also soak them in Invisalign cleaning crystals every couple of days, as directed on the packaging. Finally, use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste to clean over the adult braces to remove food and bacteria.
Don’t forget – teeth need cleaning, too.
Remove plaque and tartar
Plaque is a creamy yellow substance made of our natural saliva reacting to bacteria in the mouth. It’s sticky and constantly coats the teeth and gums. When it hardens, it becomes tartar and can be especially difficult to remove. If it’s not tackled properly, plaque and tartar can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss, as well as gum recession. A visit to our Stourbridge dental practice can help to remove hardened plaque and tartar.
Eat (and drink) well
What you eat can affect your teeth, for example, fizzy and sugary foods and drinks can break down your smile’s enamel coating, which makes it more susceptible to decay. Milk and water are thought to be the most protective drinks for your teeth.
Choose kit and toothpaste wisely
Our patients often ask us how much fluoride they need for strong, white and healthy teeth. We recommend 1350-1500ppm (parts per million), which will be outlined on your toothpaste’s packaging. For brushing, an electric toothbrush can be easiest to use (you don’t need to ‘scrub away’ with one – let it guide you instead), and an alcohol-free mouthwash can be used at other times for extra fluoride (always spit this out). Don’t forget to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or when the bristles start to show wear – whichever is soonest.