If you recently had braces put on your teeth (or if you plan to get them in the near future), one of your major concerns may be oral care routine changes. Will you need to do some things a bit differently while wearing braces? The answer is 'yes', but the good news is that the changes can be quite easy to implement if you know what to do. Read on to learn about the changes that you'll need to make while wearing braces.
Change #1: New Toothbrush
Having braces on your teeth means that a standard toothbrush won't quite do the job anymore. Ask your orthodontist for their recommendations regarding electric toothbrushes. Some of the leading electric toothbrushes on the market have specialised brush heads available. These specialised brush heads are made just for orthodontics, and they typically feature shorter bristles interspersed with longer ones.
The electric toothbrush can continually pulse while you move the brush through each section of your mouth, pulling plaque and debris away all the while. In the beginning, you should expect to spend longer than usual on your brushing routine. Making sure that you clean around all the brackets and wires thoroughly is time-intensive, but it will soon become routine and your routine will speed up.
Change #2: New Flossing Tools
While you can floss using standard dental floss, it's considerably more complicated and time consuming when you're wearing braces. To make it easier, consider using an orthodontic threader. This small tool helps you precisely thread the floss to avoid the wires and brackets whilst still getting close to the gums. Orthodontic threaders are available through any chemist, and since they're disposable, they're usually sold in large packets.
Some people who are new to braces wonder whether a water flosser tool is a good replacement for regular flossing. Unfortunately, water flossers can't remove plaque as effectively as standard floss can -- however, they can be used in conjunction for some extra teeth cleaning power if you wish.
Change #3: Nightly Braces Check
While wearing braces, you'll need to be extra aware of your oral health. Food particles can get stuck in between wires and brackets very easily, and sometimes you might even miss it whilst brushing and flossing. To make sure that you don't go to sleep with food or debris in your mouth, just do a quick visual braces check each night before sleep. This is ideally done immediately after your nighttime brushing and flossing. Be sure to scan around each bracket and all around every wire to make sure your teeth are as clean as you think they are.
By practising the three oral care tips above, you'll look after your braces (and your oral health) in the best way possible. If you do these things and see your orthodontist regularly, you can expect to have a healthy and gorgeous smile post braces.