Decades ago there were a lot of kids that dreaded getting braces. In the past they consisted of a lot more metal and people thought they were ugly, and uncomfortable. They were harder to keep clean, and there were always those jokes about food getting stuck in them, rotting, and rotten teeth to go along with the food. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case, there are braces with a much smaller footprint, some made of ceramics, and they’re far less visible than ever before. They still need plenty of care including getting a dental checkup, but it’s easier than in the past as well. Here are the top tips on surviving your braces and emerging with a straight and beautiful smile.
Be Ready To Spend More Time Cleaning Your Teeth
It goes without saying that taking care of your teeth with braces on them is obviously going to be more difficult. There are far more places for the food and plaque to hide and it’s much harder to get to. It’s going to take more time and energy than in the past.
It will also be more important to brush your teeth after every meal and every snack. Before you had braces you could probably get away with brushing your teeth once in the morning and again before bed. Not anymore. If you want your teeth to emerge from the braces experience shiny and white, you’ll need to brush immediately after every meal, including snacks. With Modern Orthodontics, we will make sure you always get to put your best smile forward.
Taking the Care to Brush Each Tooth
It is recommended that you turn your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to get the best results. Then, close your eyes and concentrate on the actual teeth that you’re brushing. By closing your eyes you’ll be able to focus better on the feel of the brush hitting each tooth individually. That’s the key to success when you have braces, every tooth counts, make sure each one gets the attention that it deserves. Dentists famously tell their patients, “only brush the teeth you want to keep!”
You should also get used to carrying mouthwash and floss. There are special mouthwashes that have plaque destroying ingredients and fluoride too. This will help rinse any leftover food from your teeth and the fluoride will protect them from the bacteria that cause gum disease. Your dentist will recommend a particular type of mouthwash, something similar to Plax brand that provides up to a 12 hour protection against the bacteria that grows in your mouth. For best results, use it after every brushing.
Flossing also takes on a more important role since there are now more places that food can hide from the toothbrush. You should consider using dental floss after each time you brush, or at least once in the morning and again in the evening. It will take more time to do and you should concentrate on getting between each tooth and its neighbor, going both directions to clean both teeth as well as possible.
There Are Special Toothbrushes for Braces
Let’s face it, the regular tooth brush and floss has a hard time accessing the teeth underneath the braces. Even though you spend extra time brushing and flossing, and you’re doing it more often, there are still places that a regular toothbrush isn’t going to be able to reach.
The best way to combat the situation is to get a water floss type toothbrush. These use water pressure to power wash your teeth and gums in places where the bristles just can’t reach. They can blast food particles out from underneath the braces, from between the teeth and below the gum line to really do a complete job. You only need to use an appliance such as this once per day in addition to regular brushing.
Thanks to modern technology, these electronic toothbrushes come with rechargeable batteries now so that eliminates the cord. They have a self-contained reservoir that fills with water and then doesn’t need to be connected to the faucet. Even the most expensive setup with an electric brush and water flossing pic will still cost less than $100 online. It’s a small price to pay for having perfectly cleaned teeth every day even with braces.
A lot of family dentists are recommending orthodontic care for their patients even with only slight imperfections in their smile. It’s now become the norm to get braces for even small misalignment problems too. With the proper care and regular visits to the dental clinic, there’s no reason why you can’t have the perfect smile and the best looking teeth ever.