Tips for Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
Many patients of Avenue Orthodontics realize that when they have traditional braces placed on their teeth, they will have to adjust their tooth brushing habits in certain ways; they’re just not sure exactly what changes they will have to make. Fortunately, as patients of Drs. Eleni Michailidis and Abraham Chahine, they can rest assured that they will be provided with thorough education about their orthodontic treatment and comprehensive instructions to follow that will help to ensure that they achieve the best possible results in the timeliest possible fashion. This is why so many patients have chosen to entrust their treatment with traditional braces to our Bayside, NY area orthodontics practice, serving College Point, Whitestone, and surrounding communities.
Whether you are currently wearing braces, someone you love wears braces, or you believe you may be a candidate for braces at Avenue Orthodontics, we invite you to read the following tips for brushing your teeth with these time-honored orthodontic appliances. If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your orthodontic options, including metal braces and invisible braces, with our esteemed orthodontists, please contact our Whitestone practice today.
Tip #1: Before you brush, rinse your mouth vigorously with water.
Before you wore braces, you were probably accustomed to putting toothpaste on your toothbrush and getting straight to the business of brushing your teeth. When you have braces on your teeth, however, it is important to rinse first so that you can dislodge any food that might be stuck in or around your brackets or wires.
Tip #2: Brush with a wet toothbrush before adding toothpaste.
Once you have rinsed and spit, brush your teeth gently with water only. This will allow you to see your teeth and make sure that you are removing any visible food particles that remain after your rinse, before you obscure the view with foamy toothpaste. Use the bristles of your toothbrush at this point – again, gently – to poke at the brackets and pick under the wires in order to remove any food particles that may be hidden from view.
Tip #3: Use toothpaste with fluoride.
The use of fluoride is essential to maintaining strong, healthy enamel and replacing minerals that may be lost during treatment with traditional metal braces.
Tip #4: Use gentle force with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
This is good advice even if you don’t wear braces, but if you do wear braces, it is an absolute must. While most people have good intentions when they brush their teeth vigorously, they can actually harm the protective enamel of the teeth by doing so. People who wear braces further risk bending the wires and dislodging the brackets. Using gentle force to brush the teeth will remove just as much plaque and other debris, without doing any harm to the enamel or the braces. Likewise, soft-bristled toothbrushes will pose far less risk of damage than medium- and hard-bristled toothbrushes. (Thankfully, hard-bristled toothbrushes have become nearly impossible to find in retail stores.)
Electric toothbrushes are perfectly acceptable as long as they are used properly.
Tip #5: Brush for at least two full minutes after every meal.
Once you have applied toothpaste, brush for at least two full minutes. Be sure to brush after every meal, at least twice a day. If for some reason you cannot brush after a meal, make sure to rinse vigorously with water and then brush your teeth as soon as you can.
Incidentally, it is important to continue to floss after you have braces placed on your teeth. While it may seem more difficult to do so, it can be done quite easily and effectively once you get the hang of it. We will discuss techniques for flossing with braces in a future blog post.
In the meanwhile, if you have any questions about brushing your teeth with traditional braces, or you would like to schedule a consultation at our practice serving Bayside, College Point, Whitestone, and the surrounding areas, please contact Avenue Orthodontics today.