Maintaining proper dental hygiene practices is always important, but for people with braces it becomes even more vital. The nooks and crannies that exist in the brackets and wires of your braces create a perfect environment for bacteria to burrow if you don’t properly care for your teeth. Want to see healthy, shiny teeth when your braces are ultimately removed, rather than teeth that are stained or damaged? Then follow these simple oral care tips from Pavlik Orthodontics!
- Brush the Right Way. Having braces means a slight adjustment needs to be made to how you approach brushing. A good rule is to hold your toothbrush so that it is positioned at a 45° angle against your gums while you brush. This will allow you to clean the full surface area of each tooth more effectively. We advise using a soft bristled toothbrush to carefully brush between braces wires and your teeth. And don’t forget to always use a quality fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss, Floss, Floss! The importance of flossing simply cannot be overstated – especially when you have braces. For people who are new to wearing braces, flossing can often pose a challenge. It can be difficult and frustrating to properly maneuver dental floss under braces wires. To help with this, we suggest using a floss threader. You can ask your hygienist or Dr. Pavlik if you need help learning to correctly use a threader.
- Brush After Every Meal. This is a refrain you’ve no doubt heard from every dentist and orthodontist you’ve ever visited. And, as with flossing, it’s a rule that’s even more urgent when you’re wearing braces. Braces give tiny food particles a perfect place to hide and make it less likely that they will be naturally washed away by saliva or drinking water. Brushing thoroughly after each and every meal, and not just in the morning or before bed, is the best way to minimize the buildup of bacteria. Frequent use of mouthwash is also recommended to help rinse away food particles.
- Think About What You Eat. Eating foods that have a high acidity level, or that contain a large amount of sugar, can lead to enamel damage and tooth decay. It’s best to limit your intake of such foods and to brush properly if and when you do eat them.
- Keep Up with Your Appointments. Make sure you are visiting your orthodontist as scheduled for the entirety of the time you have your braces on. This is vital to ensure your braces properly do their job right! It’s also important to keep up with your regularly scheduled dental appointments. Visit your dentist at least once in every six month time period for optimum oral health.
If you have questions regarding your oral health, or how to properly care for your braces, give the friendly team at Pavlik Orthodontics in Gainesville a call today! We’re always here to help. (352) 376-5055