When you finally decide to get braces, you’ve already got the end goal in mind: a happy, healthy, confident smile. You can probably already picture yourself standing in the mirror the day they come off, and your old smile is now straight and pearly white. Grubaugh Orthodontics wants to make this dream a reality for you, but it takes more than just the braces themselves for it to come true. One of the most critical factors of a successful smile is your participation – and that starts with healthy brushing habits while your braces are on!
Although brushing your teeth may feel like second nature to you, brushing with braces comes with many new rules. Your new routine may take some getting used to, but by reading our guide to brushing your teeth with braces, you’ll be a pro in no time. Let’s get started!
Tip #1: Get to know your home care kit!
When the Grubaugh Orthodontics team first applies your braces, we don’t send you home empty-handed! That first day with your new set of wires, we will give you a home care kit filled with tools that will help you take care of your teeth from that day forward. This kit includes a soft-bristled toothbrush, a proxabrush, and a floss threader. Each tool plays a unique role in your oral health to clean those hard-to-reach places and be sure you’ll have a pearly white smile in no time.
Toothbrush – our team recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush to capably clean your teeth without harming the brackets. The soft bristles are better able to reach down between each bracket, making it easier to clean these tough-to-reach spaces.
Proxabrush – this tool looks almost like a pipe cleaner, and it works practically the same! The Proxabrush allows you to clean the spaces between brackets or wires that your toothbrush just can’t reach.
Floss Threader – like a needle, this tool helps you maneuver around the wires in your mouth to floss between your teeth without a hitch.
Not only does this kit help give you a headstart toward caring for your teeth with braces, but it also teaches you which tools you’ll need throughout the time you’ll be wearing them so you can replace them as needed. If you have any questions about the contents of your home care kit, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Grubaugh – our team always has your back!
Tip #2: Brush carefully and take your time
Now that you’ve learned a little about the tools you’ll be using to care for your smile, it’s time to learn how to use them. From start to finish, your new brushing routine has several different steps that are all important to keeping your teeth white and bright.
Step one: rinse your mouth with water to remove leftover food particles – yuck!
Step two: This step is all about the angles. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to brush both the exposed parts of your teeth, the brackets, and your gumline. You’ll need to spend about five seconds brushing each tooth or 30 seconds on each section of your mouth. That adds up to about two to three minutes of brushing time, total. Make sure you don’t cut corners!
Step three: Don’t forget to brush your tongue! It is essential to brush your entire mouth to get rid of bacteria that cause plaque buildup and bad breath.
Tip #3: Floss, floss, floss
After years of visiting your dentist, we know that you’ve heard this rule many, many times. We also know that not everyone flosses as they should! While that may be the case, Grubaugh Orthodontics is here to tell you that there is no time like the present to start flossing, especially now that you have braces.
Remember your at-home care kit? It’s time to pull out that floss threader and learn how to use it.
Step one: Thread the dental floss through the eye of the floss threader. Then, push the head of the floss threader over or under the wire and between your teeth.
Step two: Remove the threader and lay it to the side. Floss each side of your tooth in a back and forth motion like you normally would without braces.
Step three: Pick up your floss threader and repeat this step by moving to the next tooth!
Be sure you don’t skip this step. It is vital to the quality of your smile that you keep up with flossing throughout your treatment. The person in the mirror on the day your braces come off will thank you for it!
Tip #4: Brush after every meal
Usually, dentists recommend brushing your teeth once in the morning and at night for the best smile possible. When it comes to brushing your teeth with braces, however, you need to brush a little more often.
Grubaugh Orthodontics advises our patients to brush their teeth after every meal. That is because braces add a lot of surface area to your mouth, which means more hiding places for bacteria to settle into. After a while, that hidden bacteria causes plaque buildups, which could lead to discoloration at best and gum disease at worst.
By brushing after every meal, you can significantly cut down the possibility of bacteria buildup. The result? A clean, white smile at the end of this orthodontic journey.
Tip #5: Choose Grubaugh Orthodontics!
Perhaps the most important tip we can give you for taking care of your teeth with braces is to find the orthodontist that is right for you. Because you’ll be working with your doctor for an extended period of time (not to mention meeting with them every six to eight weeks), the relationship you build with your orthodontist is a partnership for your smile.
At Grubaugh Orthodontics, we make it our mission to give you the best care possible so that you can feel confident in the treatment you receive. If you are considering getting braces, look no further – sign up for a FREE consultation today!