Caring for your teeth with braces

Braces are the perfect trap for sticky, brittle and crunchy food particles. This is why so many braces-wearers are told to avoid food like popcorn and caramel-filled candy bars. Other food can also get trapped between braces wires and cause a buildup of bacteria or cavities if a careful cleaning routine is not followed. Here are some tips on how to keep those tricky spaces between wires clean and ensure a happy smile while wearing braces.  

Rinse before brushing 

Get rid of those pesky food particles between your teeth before you brush! Swish for 30 seconds with water before reaching for your toothbrush. This will help soften and loosen any food stuck between the wires and your teeth.  

Invest in a good toothbrush 

The bristles on your toothbrush can get worn down quickly from metal braces. Buying an electric toothbrush will help you clean more effectively between those wires and brackets without the bristles fraying. If you can’t afford to purchase an electric toothbrush, be sure to buy a soft bristle brush, as they bend between the braces easier than medium or hard bristles. 

Use mouth wash 

If you haven’t used mouthwash before, now is the time to start! Swishing with a disinfecting mouthwash every morning and night will help reach those places you can’t reach with a regular toothbrush.  

Use a water flosser 

Flossing can also be difficult with braces. A water flosser is an alternative to flossing that floods the gum line with warm water and removes stuck food particles and plaque in a similar way to dental floss. If you don’t want to purchase a water flosser, there is still a way to floss with braces. Using a longer strand of floss and a floss threader will help you weave the floss through the braces’ wires more easily.  

Make sure to visit your dentist regularly while wearing braces! Book a cleaning with Jackson Dental by calling (573) 243-5200 or stopping by our office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo. If you’re interested in trying Invisalign, ask us while you’re at your appointment!