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brace cleans

Once you have new braces fitted, you might think it’s time to relax, put your feet up and wait while they straighten your teeth and improve your smile.

But after you leave the orthodontist’s chair, it’s down to you to keep your braces clean as they straighten your teeth. The last thing you want is a build-up of plaque – which could lead to pain and tooth decay.

Here are five handy tips on how to keep your braces clean.

1) Brush in between teeth and braces

While braces help improve your smile and your overall oral health – they can also make teeth-cleaning more difficult. That’s because they create nooks and crannies where bacteria can thrive if the area gets missed during brushing. Pay extra care to clean these areas as part of your regular brushing routine.

We recommend you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Although if you want to be extra thorough, you could get an interdental toothbrush. This comes with a smaller head that’s useful for cleaning small or awkward spaces. If you decide to get one, clean your teeth for a further two minutes using the brush.

2) Floss once a day

As well as brushing your teeth regularly, it’s also worth flossing. You can thread the floss through the wires of your braces, so you don’t edge them out of place. And then you can gently pick away bits of food lodged in those tricky-to-reach spaces.

3) Consider mouthwash

It’s worth investing in mouthwash that contains fluoride. It’ll help to keep your braces clean, which in turn will protect your mouth and teeth.

Just remember it’s recommended you wait at least 30 minutes after brushing your teeth to use mouthwash. Otherwise, there’s a chance you’ll wash away the fluoride from the toothpaste.

4) Avoid hard or sticky foods

There are some foods – especially sticky types – that just aren’t brace-friendly. These include:

  • Chewy or crunchy peanut butter
  • Chocolate bars that contain caramel or toffee
  • Sweets and marshmallows
  • Crusty bread
  • Apples
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts

Sticky foods pose the risk of getting lodged in between your braces and your teeth. If they remain there, bacteria could grow and develop in your mouth, and eventually lead to pain and tooth decay.

On top of that, hard foods could dislodge the wires and damage your braces. This will affect your treatment, and you might have to revisit Oldham Orthodontics to get them repaired.

5) Create a mobile cleaning kit

As well as cleaning your teeth twice a day, you could carry a mobile cleaning kit while you’re out and about. This will come in handy if you’re out for a meal with friends, or you’re working long hours, and need to give your teeth and braces a quick clean.

Your mobile kit could include:

  • A regular toothbrush
  • An interdental toothbrush
  • A small bottle of mouthwash

Go for regular check-ups

This is best practice for maintaining your oral health regularly. But it’s even more important to go for routine check-ups while you wear braces so that we can make sure your teeth remain healthy.

Need more help?

Looking to improve your smile? You can find out if traditional braces are a good option for you with a free consultation.

Or if you already have braces, you can call Oldham Orthodontics today.