Keep your teeth and braces clean
Watch how easy it is to have clean healthy teeth with braces.
Having braces means you will have to start paying closer attention to your oral hygiene. As you start to eat, you will notice that some types of foods get stuck in your braces wires and brackets, and these food particles need to be removed. Braces can make it more difficult for your toothbrush to reach certain areas, making it easier for plaque to develop and create cavities. It’s important that you brush and floss well on a regular basis, and Dr. Sema recommends certain techniques that you can use to make your daily brushing routine more effective.
The 4 X 4 Rule
Dr. Sema has a simple rule that can keep your braces cleaner and your teeth healthier:
- Brush 4 times a day
- Brush 4 minutes each time
- Floss at least once a day to remove and food from between your teeth
Remember that improper brushing can result in the decalcification of your teeth, which leaves a permanent white scar on the teeth near the gum line.
Brushing and flossing tips
Dr. Sema recommends brushing your teeth using small, circular motions to reach trapped food particles. Hold the toothbrush at an angle towards the brackets, then towards the gum line, and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between the teeth, braces and brackets.
Brush both upper and lower teeth, and don’t forget to get the biting side and inside of both front and back teeth. Rinsing with fluoride mouthwash can help fight against plaque as well. Additionally, you may need to replace your toothbrush more often due to the excess use. A toothbrush is much more effective when the bristles are straight and not worn down, so make sure you replace your tooth brush often.
Foods to avoid with braces
It’s best to avoid sticky and hard foods because they can easily damage your braces. Sugary foods should also be eaten in moderation and brushed from the surface of your teeth and braces to prevent decay.
Here are some examples of what to avoid:
- Toasted bread and hard crusts
- Apples, carrots and corn on the cob
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