How to Properly Brush Your Teeth With Orthodontic Dental Braces

Tooth Brush instructions
Smiling pediatric dentist or oral hygienist teaching patients to brush teeth properly.

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When you first get orthodontic dental braces, it can seem very awkward figuring out how to properly and adequately brush your teeth. Braces act as a barrier between your brush and teeth, which makes it even harder to clean your mouth when it needs it more than ever since braces easily catch pieces of food. Request a special brush from your orthodontist, and be sure to brush your teeth and braces several times a day to prevent tooth damage and decay. Here are a few tips on how to properly brush your teeth when wearing orthodontic dental braces:

1. Start with strong swishing and rinsing with water.

You can dislodge larger pieces of food stuck in your braces by first aggressively swishing around water. Such products as the rubber-tipped gum massager, dental pick, and spiral-shaped bristle brush, are designs made specifically to fit into tight spaces and clean braced teeth. Ask your orthodontist for these products, or simply try any retail drug store. 

2. Brush in circular motions around your gums.

Start by angling your brush at a 45 degree angle and working it above and below your brace brackets. This will help to sneak into the hard to reach tops and bottoms of your braces, where food bits can hide. Don’t rush brushing either. Be sure to scrub each tooth surface at least ten circles of the brush. It will take longer to brush with braces, however, being as thorough as possible will help to significantly reduce any decay and damage to your teeth beneath your braces, which can cause even more irritation and dental procedures in the future.

 3. Go for the electric brush.

Electric brushes work much more thoroughly and efficiently than regular manual brushes. They also take the guesswork out of brushing for you, by moving and spinning automatically without much thought from you. Brushing isn’t exactly the most enjoyable of activities, but is a necessity to your health, especially with braces. An electric brush can do most of the work for you, and can allow for less brushing time with its more efficient nature.If you do decide to go manual and save a few bucks, ask your orthodontist for their recommendation. You can also look for one with bristles that are shaped in a “V.” This specific model is specifically designed to fit around braced teeth.

4. Say NO to a whitening toothpaste.

Smiling pediatric dentist or oral hygienist teaching patients to brush teeth properly.
Tooth Brushing Technique

Resist the urge to choose a toothpaste that whitens until afteryour braces have come off. If you do decide to go with the whitening option, the space on your teeth where your brace brackets lie will be less white than the space around it. Be sure to choose a toothpaste with anti-cavity properties, resisting the temptation to whiten. If you follow these tips when brushing your teeth and braces, you will feel good about knowing you are properly keeping up your oral health, and will have clean and healthy teeth along with a straighter smile when it’s finally time for your braces to come off.

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