Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
Kaplan Orthodontics’ 4 Top Tips for Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
Brushing your teeth while wearing braces can sometimes be challenging, so we have put together some tips that will help you to keep your teeth clean, so when it’s time for your braces to come off, your teeth will look even more amazing!
1. Always use a soft toothbrush
While wearing braces, the most important area to keep clean is above your braces (the space between the braces and the gums). Since this space is right next to the gums, it is challenging to brush the enamel surface without contacting the gums with the bristles. We advise that hard and medium toothbrushes be avoided, these are more likely to damage gums while brushing.
2. Brush for 2 minutes
Time yourself and spend at least two FULL minutes brushing your teeth. You should spend at least 30 seconds on your upper right side, 30 seconds on your upper left side, 30 seconds on your lower left side, and finally 30 seconds on your lower right side. You might think that you do this already, but most patients who time themselves find that they are brushing an average of only 30 seconds for their entire mouth! And don’t forget to floss every day!
The best toothpaste to use is the one that tastes best to the person brushing and encourages them to brush for a full two minutes. Although there are differences in the ingredients used by the numerous manufacturers, research has shown that the most important variable when it comes to good oral hygiene is the TIME SPENT and the technique used rather than the actual brand of toothpaste. If you or your child likes a particular brand because it has a cartoon character on the tube and you think it will help to brush longer, then that is the one to choose! Most modern toothpastes have fluoride, and that is really the most important ingredient.
For the surface of the braces and teeth using a circular motion with an angled toothbrush is the most effective. Please click here for a clip of how to brush with your braces on! However, to combat the plaque and food that are caught under the wires and brackets, the most effective method is to use a picking motion rather than scrubbing. Your toothbrush has approximately 2000 individual bristles that perform just like little toothpicks that can reach even the smallest nooks and crannies associated with your orthodontic appliances.