SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ, CA
Getting braces can be an exciting time. You’re finally on your way to achieving perfect teeth! However, not taking good care of your teeth while wearing braces could leave you feeling surprised or disappointed once your braces are removed. Oral hygiene is vital for everyone, but there are specific steps you should take to ensure your teeth remain healthy while wearing your braces. That way, you’ll get the best results at the end of your treatment. So, today on the blog, our Scotts Valley dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry share the best ways to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces.
It’s not just what you do, but how you do it
Most people know that they should brush their teeth daily. It’s a morning (and hopefully nighttime) ritual that they do every day. Grab the toothbrush, squirt an ambiguous amount of toothpaste on said brush, and brush. How exactly do you brush? Most people grip their toothbrushes too firmly or brush too fast. Have you ever heard that putting forth half the effort gets you half the results? That’s exactly what you’ll get if you aren’t using the proper techniques when brushing. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day. The next time you brush your teeth, time yourself to know how long two minutes actually is! Also, brush using small circular motions, not vigorous back and forth.
Repeat, repeat, repeat
Only brushing once a day or when the mood strikes you isn’t the most effective way to maintain your pearly whites either. The ADA suggests brushing twice a day, although if you have braces, you might need to up the times that you brush to after every meal. To make brushing your teeth on the go easier, stow a toothbrush in your backpack or desk at work. If you’re unable to work in a mid-day brushing session, rinse your mouth out with water or swish with some mouthwash. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing. Again, if you wear braces, plan on a consistent oral hygiene routine.
Get the right stuff
Cleaning around brackets and wires is as intricate as it sounds. A typical toothbrush is enough to remove most food particles and buildup on your teeth. However, you may need to use floss threaders, an interproximal brush, or a water flosser to clean around your brackets and wires thoroughly. These areas are notorious for trapping food, which could lead to teeth staining or cavities if ignored. Be sure to clean these areas gently so that you do not dislodge your orthodontic wires.
Get enough fluoride
Fluoride is a natural mineral that restores dental enamel and helps prevent cavity formation. Children under the age of 18 should receive fluoride treatments. However, if you are an adult wearing braces, ask your dentist in Scotts Valley if you could benefit from additional fluoride applications. There are in-office treatments and solutions you can use at home for daily use. However, exercise caution when using fluoride and only do so under the instruction of your dentist. Too much fluoride can lead to spotting on the teeth, which are more noticeable after the braces are removed.
General Dentists in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz
Whether you just got braces for the first time or you’re almost to the end of your treatment, it’s essential that you practice good oral hygiene by following the tips above. To learn more ways to maintain your oral health, contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411.