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Braces and Dental Hygiene


A young girl with braces with a brush in her hand in Portland, OR.If you are one of the four million people in the US who have braces, you will want to make sure that you keep your braces as clean as possible. There is a really good reason for this that goes beyond good oral health. If you don’t take care of your teeth while you have braces on, you will have to have your teeth whitened. You might even develop cavities underneath your braces - and no one wants that.

Taking care of your teeth while you are wearing braces is not an easy job. You have to clean around brackets and wires. What is the best way to practice good oral hygiene? Senestraro Family Orthodontics has some answers for you.

What Tools Do You Need to Clean Teeth Effectively?


Be sure that when you are trying to get your braces clean, you are using a small toothbrush. You will need a small toothbrush to make sure that you can clean all the brackets well. Be sure that the bristles are flat, rather than angled. Also, you will want a soft toothbrush. There are special toothbrushes made just for braces. If you don’t have one, ask us if we have one.

Your toothpaste needs to have fluoride. That’s because fluoride is a great way to help prevent cavities. One of the most important tools you will need is dental floss and a floss threader to help you get floss around your braces.

How Do I Brush?


You will have to keep your teeth and gums healthy while you are wearing braces. To do that, you will need to brush more often. It would help if you brushed after every meal, as well as right before bed. That’s because it is easier for food particles to become trapped when you have braces. It would help if you are sure you are brushing underneath the metal bands, as well as the brackets.

Flossing with Braces


Flossing with braces is very difficult because of the wires and brackets. You will want to floss in between your teeth, just as you have always done. However, to floss effectively, you will need a floss threader. Floss threaders look like a needle. The threaders help you get the floss underneath the wire so that you can floss each tooth effectively.

How to Make Sure You Take Care of Your Braces


Taking care of your braces means more than brushing and flossing. You also want to make sure that your brackets do not come loose and your wires do not break. If your brackets or wires come loose, it means a trip to the orthodontist, and perhaps a delay in your treatment.

To make sure your braces stay in good condition, you need to avoid eating “hard foods.” For example, apples, carrots, and corn on the cob cannot be eaten raw or uncut. If you love corn, eat it off the cob. Cook your carrots. Slice your apple into small pieces. Also, make sure you are not eating sticky foods or soft candies. You don’t need the added sugar in your mouth. That goes for gum as well, since it is both sweet and sticky.

If you have questions about oral hygiene in general, give Senestraro Family Orthodontics a call at (503) 446-5815. We love to talk about oral hygiene, especially oral hygiene and braces!




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