If you've ever had braces, you know the struggle. Broccoli in your brackets, waffle in your wires. It happens to the best of us! But there's good news. We've been treating patients for well over 30 years and we've observed, tested, and verified the best strategies for keeping a clean, healthy mouth with braces. Here are five sure-fire ways to keeping your smile squeaky clean when you're wearing braces.
Start using Super Floss or Threader Floss.
This stuff is worth its weight in gold. It makes flossing under your wires and between your teeth so much easier! You can even pick it up at Target or even order it in a few clicks from Amazon. If you've never used it before, ask us for a free sample pack at your next appointment.
Brush after every meal. And when you can't brush, rinse.
When you're wearing braces, good brushing habits are especially important. With braces, your teeth are more inclined to collect plaque, which leads to decay. At a minimum, brush night and day (and try to brush after lunch, too). Try carrying a travel toothbrush with you. If your schedule prevents you from brushing midday, at least take time to rinse out with water after eating your lunch. It's nowhere near as effective as brushing, but it will remove some food debris.
Add an electric toothbrush to your wishlist.
Admit it - it's time for an upgrade. Switching to an electric toothbrush will seriously up your oral hygiene game. In fact, electric toothbrushes remove 21% more plaque than standard manual toothbrushes. And they're more affordable than ever. For less than $10, you can get a basic model and for less than $100, you can get a more advanced rechargeable toothbrush. Either way, switching to an electric toothbrush will ensure a consistent, superior clean every time.
Use proxy brushes to get to those hard-to-reach spots.
Not only do they look like Christmas trees, but they also bring good cheer and glad tidings! :) But seriously - you'll be jumping for joy when you've got these to help you clean. They're the perfect little tool to remove that hunk of bread stuck in your braces way in the back of your mouth.
Consider investing in a Water-Pik.
Water-Piks use a directed stream of water to flow between and clean your teeth, brackets, and wires. It's like a take-home version of the water jet/syringe we use to rinse and clean your teeth here in our offices.