When cleaning your mouth while you are wearing braces, you need to pay special attention not only to your teeth and gums, but also to the brackets and wires.
Here are 10 simple steps for keeping your teeth, gums and braces in great shape:
- If your orthodontist has fitted you with elastics, remove them before brushing.
- Using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, compact toothbrush, place your brush at an angle of 45 degrees against the gums. Gently brush along the gum line where the gums and teeth meet, using a small circular motion on each tooth.
- Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth, brushing in a set pattern so that you don’t miss any teeth.
- Gently brush the braces. Press your toothbrush firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth. Brush in and around all of the brackets and wires. Ensure that you brush under the wires. An electric powered brush may be helpful.
- Brush both the inside and the outside surfaces of your teeth using a gentle circular motion on each tooth.
- For the chewing surfaces, use a firm back and forth motion.
- Floss between the teeth.
- Spit out excess paste, then closely inspect your teeth and braces in the mirror to check that they are clean and shiny.
- Replace your elastics in accordance with your orthodontist’s recommendation.
- After brushing, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash, for 1 minute to help prevent cavities and white spots.