Before having straight teeth, your first priority should be good dental health. This means maintaining good hygiene habits and taking care of your teeth. For people with braces, it is important to pay special mind to oral hygiene. Braces can make it more difficult to clean properly, which can increase your risk for cavities and other issues. Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, a dual-trained specialist in orthodontics and periodontics at Elegant Orthodontics, treats patients living in and near the Boston, MA neighborhood.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Proper oral hygiene means that your teeth are clean and free of debris, and your gums don’t hurt while brushing. Here are the steps to good oral hygiene:
- Brush thoroughly two minutes, twice a day
- Floss daily
- Eat a healthy diet that limits sugar
- Use dental products that contain fluoride or drink fluoridated water
Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
Braces can make brushing more difficult, especially because you are more likely to have food stuck in your teeth. It is important to brush all surfaces of the teeth, and get in between the wires. If you frequently have food caught in your braces, it may help to swish water around in your mouth before brushing. This can help remove some of the food debris and wash sugar off of the teeth, preventing further damage.
Flossing Your Teeth with Braces
Flossing with braces can also be a difficult process. It works the same as flossing without braces, but you have to work around the wires. To do this, you must thread the floss between the wire and your gums. Floss threaders can be incredibly helpful for this. With a floss threader, you run your floss through a plastic loop and pull it through the other side of your teeth using the threader. Then, you pull it all the way through and repeat the process for the next tooth.
Learn more about proper oral hygiene by contacting Elegant Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation. We serve the communities of Boston, Brookline, Norwood, Framingham and surrounding areas.