How to Thoroughly Clean My Teeth While Wearing Braces?

Interdental Brush

There are many things to consider when making the conscious decision to start your orthodontics journey towards a straight, perfect, and healthy smile. If you have been facing feeling self-conscious about your smile for years, teeth braces for adults in Roanoke are the solution you have been waiting for.

At Reopelle Orthodontics, Dr. Ann Reopelle and her talented team are committed to helping all our patients achieve the smile they deserve – no matter how long and complex the journey can be. That journey will include many challenges that will require your dedication and lots of consistency. This is a team effort; if you are willing to do your part, we will be happy to do our part.

One of the biggest challenges you will face during your orthodontic treatment will be maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine throughout the length of your treatment.

You might wonder why your orthodontist makes such a big deal about oral hygiene; well, the answer is simple. Oral health is crucial in determining the final orthodontic results you achieve with your treatment. If you are unable to keep proper oral hygiene, you might face gingivitis and even gum infection. Such complications will ultimately slow down the movement of your teeth into their proper position.

But don’t worry; today, we will take a close look at different things you can do to ensure that your teeth remain clean and healthy while becoming perfectly straight.

How Your Dietary Choices Can Help Your Orthodontic Treatment

Once you finish your orthodontic treatment with braces, you will be able to go back to eating your favorite foods. However, life with braces means you will need to make better decisions when it comes to food choices to avoid any foods that could damage your new braces. Here are some foods you can and can’t eat.

Food To Avoid With Braces

Below is a short list of foods you should avoid during your orthodontic treatment with braces; with this shortlist, you will be able to have a better idea of what to avoid.

  • Chewy foods: bagels, and licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, potato chips, and ice
  • Sticky foods: caramel candies, and chewing gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, and hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into: corn on the cob, apples, and carrots

Foods You Can Eat With Braces On

You might be feeling discouraged after seeing the list of foods to avoid while undergoing treatment with braces, so here’s a list of foods you can definitely enjoy.

  • Dairy: soft cheese, pudding, and milk-based drinks
  • Breads: soft tortillas, pancakes, and muffins without nuts
  • Grains: pasta, and soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry: soft cooked chicken, meatballs, and lunch meats
  • Seafood: tuna, salmon, and crab cakes
  • Vegetables: mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, and beans
  • Fruits: applesauce, bananas, and fruit juice
  • Treats: ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, and soft cake

Now you might be thinking that life with braces may not be so difficult after all. As long as you stay away from the not-so-friendly foods, you should be fine, right? Well, we wish we could say yes; however, the truth is that aside from food restrictions, you will have to worry about having a proper oral cleaning routine. You already know that it’s important to brush and floss, but you are probably wondering if the cleaning process is the same while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

To answer your question, let’s take a look at a step-by-step guide on how to clean your teeth properly during your treatment time.

A Healthy Smile Is a Happy Smile

From a young age, we are all taught the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth. In fact, the majority of us rush to the bathroom and brush our teeth right after finishing breakfast and just before we go to bed. But with braces, common brushing and flossing become slightly more difficult.

To achieve a healthy smile, read the tips below.

Even a Bit Goes a Long Way After Every Meal

Although it’s recommended, realistically, no one goes through the effort of brushing their teeth after every single meal every day; you can still take some sort of action after you eat.

Whether you just finished a fresh salad or your favorite treat, rinse your mouth with some water to help remove any pieces of food stuck in your braces. Maybe even purchase travel-sized mouthwashes to use when you are not at home.

This is an easy way to keep your braces clean without having to carry around toothpaste and a toothbrush everywhere you go.

Go the Extra Minute

The suggested time per brush is 2 minutes, but don’t be afraid to brush for 3 minutes. You may brush off some food and gunk you didn’t get in the first little bit. One more minute of brushing per usual can go a long way. It’ll also help guarantee you won’t have any major staining after your braces are removed.

Don’t Forget to Floss

As tedious as the task can be, it’s crucial when you need to keep your braces clean. It removes food stuck in the teeth and rids plaque your toothbrush may not catch.

While wearing braces, to make flossing easier, purchase a floss threader. It’ll help get the floss where you want it, and you know how to handle the rest!

Avoid Certain Foods

Super sugary and acidic foods can damage your teeth.

Having cavities can cause you to feel pain and heightened sensitivity when eating certain foods.

Be Gentle

Even though braces are strong and sturdy, it’s still important to use a gentle brush. Choose a brush made specifically to use while wearing braces. Too tough of bristles can loosen a bracket.

Don’t Forget About Your Tongue

Brushing your tongue is also extremely important because it keeps your breath fresh.

Brushing your tongue is important because it helps remove bacteria that may sit and fester on the surface of your tongue. When you have braces, it’s crucial to catch bacteria before they hide in the metal of your orthodontic device.

Seek Alternatives

In the case of forgetting toothpaste on a quick trip, coconut oil is a great choice for a quick clean-up if you’re missing toothpaste. It contains bacteria-fighting elements and can even fight against tooth decay.

Schedule Regular Appointments

Learning how to keep braces clean can be overwhelming, but your Roanoke orthodontist is always available to help. Just make sure to schedule and attend regular appointments or checkups.

Your appointment time is your chance to ask any questions, plus your orthodontist can also take a peek in your mouth and let you know if anything needs to be done differently.

Use Common Sense

Some people can grow anxious when they have braces and go overboard on cleaning. Relax and simply follow our suggested steps, and you will be perfectly fine.

With the above suggestions, not only will your teeth be as clean and healthy as possible, but you will also have better results at the end of your orthodontic treatment. However, what happens if the orthodontic device you chose isn’t traditional metal braces? Let’s say you decided to go along with Invisalign clear aligners.

How To Keep Good Oral Hygiene With Invisalign?

If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign clear aligners, you are in luck! As you probably already know, your clear aligners are not only virtually invisible; they are also completely removable. Because your aligners are removable, you can say goodbye to food restrictions and the added extra care to make sure food particles and bacteria don’t get stuck in your metal brackets. With Invisalign, simply remove your aligning trays and brush and floss normally, rinse your trays and reinsert them into your mouth and you are good to go!

The thought of having to keep such a strict and precise oral health routine may be overwhelming and difficult; however, don’t worry. There are many different tools at your disposal for you to use while wearing traditional metal braces to straighten your teeth. Some of the most common and useful tools include interdental brushes, floss threaders, and water irrigators.

Interdental Brushes

Interdental brushes are like mini toothbrushes to help clean in-between your teeth. Interdental brushes resemble a tiny bottle brush! These small brushes help prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth. They have small bristled heads designed to clean between your teeth, and they come in different widths to suit the sizes of the gaps. You can buy them at your local pharmacies and supermarkets.

Floss Threaders

A floss threader is a flexible yet rigid plastic tool for passing dental floss under fixed bridgework and behind orthodontic wires. Floss threaders resemble large plastic “needles” and are effective at getting floss between teeth that are connected. Without a floss threader, pushing the floss string into such areas would be difficult.

Simply thread the floss into the eye of the floss threader. Once the floss has been inserted, the ends can easily be manipulated to clean behind the archwires and beneath the retainer bars of your braces.

Water Irrigators

According to Wikipedia, An oral irrigator water irrigator is a home dental care device that uses a stream of high-pressure pulsating water intended to remove dental plaque and food debris between teeth and below the gum line. Water flossing works much like regular flossing, but with the help of water, this can be a more convenient and easy option for people that lack the dexterity needed to use regular dental floss.

Ready For Roanoke Braces?

Ready to see all of your options? At Reopelle Orthodontics, it is completely complimentary! Whatever it is, we will help you come up with a custom plan that fits your budget. Join our orthodontic family and the hundreds of patients showing off their new, beautiful, and healthy smiles. By scheduling your appointment today, We can’t wait to meet you!