Now that the excitement has started to wane, you’re probably wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into with your new orthodontic treatment, whether it be InBrace lingual braces or LightForce ceramic braces. Rest assured, Dr. Zeifman and her skilled team know just what they are doing, and your smile is in the best hands. In the meantime, she trusts that you will do your part to take care of your teeth just as well as before your braces were applied. We know the best way to ensure your success is to give you our best tips for brushing your teeth with braces. 

While wearing braces makes life a bit different, brushing your teeth with braces isn’t too different from brushing your teeth without braces. You’ll have to take caution as brushing around the brackets and wires properly without damaging them can be tricky. Still, getting any food debris and bacteria that may build up is crucial to avoid more serious issues like tooth decay and gum disease. 

Orthodontic treatment through braces is an investment in your future. You are fixing a physical issue while boosting confidence and overall self-esteem. At Zeifman Orthodontics, our team is dedicated to giving patients of all ages exceptional orthodontic care. You only get one smile, and you can trust Dr. Z and her skilled team to give you the respect you deserve. Let’s look at some tips for effectively brushing your teeth with braces. 

Take Your Time

There is no denying that having braces takes a bit of time and effort. It was tricky enough to get to the two-minute mark without braces, and the added complications of brackets and wires being in the way can make you want to rush and skip necessary steps. But, it is essential to take your time when brushing with braces to ensure the best results in the long run. If you fail to spend a little extra time caring for your braces, you may end up with white spots on your teeth once the braces are removed. This is an unsightly condition that nobody wants.

Focus Most on Your Gums

Once your braces are applied, you may briefly experience minor gum sensitivity or inflammation, but this will wear off quickly. As it does, make sure you are brushing not just the brackets and wires on the front faces of your teeth but that you are going all the way to your gums to get the plaque and debris that builds up there as well. Plus, brushing below your teeth provides a little massage for sore gums and can even stimulate blood flow to the area to help them heal quicker. 

To be sure you are getting the best brushing possible, slowly brush each tooth along the gumline for five seconds before moving on to the next tooth. After you have completed the gum line, brush the inside, outside, and tops of the teeth as usual.

Floss Twice a Day, Everyday

While flossing is one of the most practical steps of oral health, it is often the most overlooked step, too- especially when you have the hardware of braces making the challenge a bit more complicated. You mustn’t skip this step as debris, plaque, and bacteria can become lodged between teeth and brackets and lead to tooth decay or gum disease, like gingivitis.

Tools like floss threaders and Waterpiks are helpful if you’re having trouble getting a good floss underneath the wires. Your orthodontist will likely also give you a tool, like an interdental proxy brush, to help make this process easier.

The Right Toothpaste Makes a World of Difference

Not all kinds of toothpaste are created equally, and if you aren’t using a quality option, you may as well not be using any toothpaste at all. Since choosing the right toothpaste can depend on your specific needs, Dr. Zeifman can give you recommendations that will work well for your needs. 

The one common thread in a quality toothpaste is the ingredient fluoride. Fluoride is a common natural mineral that fights cavities and protects your tooth’s outer layer of enamel. The American Dental Association recommends toothpaste with fluoride to combat and neutralize bacteria. While there have been claims that too much fluoride can be harmful to the body, the ADA has numerous studies showing that an approved dose of fluoride is essential for optimal dental health.

As with almost any other product you can purchase, toothpaste with the approved amount of fluoride comes in many different strengths and flavors to satisfy all needs and preferences. There are even fun ADA and kid-approved options like ‘Wild Strawberry’ and ‘Blue Raspberry’ from Hello Kids, and Tom’s of Maine Natural Fluoride Toothpaste for children in ‘Outrageous Orange Mango.’

Our Best Tips for Brushing Your Teeth With Braces

The Brackets and Wires Need Cleaning, Too

Knowing what to do when cleaning the brackets and wires of your braces can be daunting and no easy feat. For the most part, it is the same process as brushing your teeth without braces, back and forth. But, with brackets on, you will need to adjust your brush placement to get a good angle on them. Brushing down from the top of the bracket, up from the bottom, and in a circular angle around them will help get those hard-to-reach places. 

Look for clean, shiny braces with the edge of the brackets clearly visible. Fuzzy or dull bracesindicates poor brushing. Don’t apply too much pressure to damage the wires or brackets themselves. 

Rinse Well, and Rinse Again

Because the brackets and wires can create small gaps, food and debris easily get lodged in those spaces. Typically, the particles stuck here are large enough to be noticeable and easily dislodged with a bit of rinsing. If you can’t brush immediately after a meal, be sure to rinse your mouth as thoroughly as possible. 

To remove any loose food particles that may have gathered underneath and around the brackets, gargle warm water and spit it into the sink before brushing. You may need to do this a couple to a few times if you find you are getting a lot of debris out. Rinse until the water you spit is clear. Once there are no longer pieces of debris, you can begin brushing your teeth.

Consider Swapping to an Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes not only take the chore out of brushing your teeth but have recently been proven to genuinely be better for your teeth and overall oral health. According to recent studies, people who use an electric toothbrush have healthier gums, less tooth decay, and keep their teeth longer than those who use a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes, especially those with heads that rotate in both directions, or ‘oscillating’ heads, are really effective at removing plaque. This helps keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay.

Our Best Tips for Brushing Your Teeth With Braces

Zeifman Orthodontics has the brushing tips and tricks to make you smile!

Dr. Z and her experienced team are up-to-date on both the latest orthodontic treatments and braces technology, as well as the hottest tips to help you stop hiding your smile. We care about you like you’re our own family, and we promise to give you the best quality care in a comfortable, fun setting. 

Are you interested in getting started on your smile journey? Get in touch with us at our Florham Park office to schedule your initial consultation and embrace your smile! In the meantime, check out our Facebook and Instagram pages to see recent smiles and what our team is up to lately!