Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry

How to Maintain Oral Hygiene While Wearing Braces

How to Maintain Oral Hygiene With Braces

Reviewed by Dr. Henry Martinez, DMD

Oral hygiene is always a top priority, but it becomes even more essential when your child is wearing braces. Braces can easily trap food and bacteria, leading to plaque buildup and potential tooth decay if not properly cleaned. 

In this post, we will provide tips on how to maintain oral hygiene while wearing braces, ensuring a beautiful and healthy smile once they are removed.

Brushing With Braces

4 Tips To Make Brushing With Braces Easy

  1. Choose the right toothbrush: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush made for braces, like an interdental brush or one with a V-shaped bristle pattern.Using an electric toothbrush can also help keep your teeth clean and free of plaque.
  2. Brush at a 45-degree angle: While brushing, position the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. This will help clean the area between the braces and your gums, where food particles often get stuck.
  3. Brush each tooth individually: Spend extra time on each tooth, gently brushing in a circular motion around the braces. Make sure to clean under the wires and around each bracket.
  4. Brush at least twice a day: It’s important to brush your teeth at least twice daily, ideally after every meal or snack. If you can’t brush right away, rinse your mouth with water to remove food particles and minimize plaque buildup. 

Flossing with Braces

4 Tips To Make Flossing With Braces Easy

  1. Use the right floss: Opt for waxed dental floss or a floss threader, both of which are more effective at getting between your braces and teeth.
  2. Floss at least once a day: Make it a habit to floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. This will help remove food debris and plaque that may have accumulated during the day.
  3. Floss under the wires: Be sure to floss underneath the wires of your braces, as well as between your teeth.
  4. Be gentle: Apply gentle pressure when flossing to avoid damaging your braces or irritating your gums.

Dental Cleanings Phoenix

Regular dental cleanings are crucial in maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing braces. During these appointments, your dental hygienist will remove any hard-to-reach plaque and tartar, helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene while wearing braces takes a little extra effort, but the results are worth it. Following these tips and scheduling regular professional cleanings can prevent dental issues and ensure a healthy, beautiful smile. 

If you have any concerns or questions about caring for your teeth while wearing braces, don’t hesitate to contact Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry. Schedule your appointment today by calling us at (602) 935-7427 or complete our online booking form

FAQs About Braces

How Can I Get Rid of Bad Breath?

Regular brushing and flossing are essential for eliminating bad breath while wearing braces. Brush your teeth twice daily (at least) with a toothbrush designed for braces. Flossing should be done once daily, using an orthodontic floss threader to ensure all areas of your mouth are clean. Additionally, rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash can further reduce bad breath.

What Foods Should I Avoid While Wearing Braces?

It is important to be mindful of what you eat and avoid certain foods that can damage your braces or make oral hygiene more difficult. Chewy, sticky, and crunchy foods should be avoided as they can cause brackets to come loose or wires to become dislodged.

Taking care of your braces is important, but so is watching what you eat. Sugar-filled treats such as candy and soda can cause cavities and discolor your teeth, even with braces. Foods like nuts and popcorn should also be avoided, as they can get stuck in the wires or brackets. Eating a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, dairy products, and whole grains will help keep your teeth healthy and strong.

How Often Should I Get My Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

It is important to have regular checkups and cleanings, even while wearing braces. Professional cleanings can help prevent plaque buildup, cavities, and other oral health problems. Regular checkups also allow your dentist to ensure that your braces are in good condition and working properly. It is generally recommended to have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months, but your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings depending on your individual oral health needs.

What Happens if You Have Braces and Don’t Brush Your Teeth?

Not brushing your teeth while wearing braces can lead to serious oral health issues, such as cavities and gum disease. If left untreated, these problems can cause tooth decay and even loss of teeth. Furthermore, plaque buildup on the brackets and wires of the braces can cause discoloration and staining of the teeth. To prevent these issues from occurring, it is important to brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss once daily.