Keeping your teeth properly cleaned is always important. However, it will be more important than ever to focus on thoroughly brushing your teeth while you have braces. Even though braces and other forms of orthodontic treatment are prescribed by oral health professionals, these treatment solutions actually put you at a greater risk of tooth decay temporarily. But, you can keep these problems at bay by making smart decisions about your cleaning routine, including choosing the right toothbrush.
Why Is It Important to Brush my Teeth with Braces?
Braces are made up of complex parts that work together to move your teeth in the right direction. The combination of brackets, wires, and ligatures is necessary to provide orthodontic correction. However, it’s easy for food particles to get stuck in your braces or in hard-to-reach areas. Plus, the structure of your braces makes it harder to completely clean your teeth.
Even if you have clear aligners with the Invisalign Clear Aligner system, you’re still subject to increased risks of tooth decay during your treatment. Food particles and residue that would normally get rinsed out by drinking water can get trapped under your aligners while they’re in.
Because of these risk factors, it’s important to spend extra time and effort in cleaning your teeth every day. One of the most important aspects of this is picking the right toothbrush.
Should I Choose an Electric or Manual Toothbrush?
While picking the right toothbrush for many people is often a matter of preference, there is substantial data indicating the superior effectiveness of electric toothbrushes, particularly for patients with braces. The fact that you can adjust the speed on some toothbrushes to rigorously scrub the surface of your teeth and braces means you’re more likely to get rid of food particles trapped in and around your braces. With little effort, electric toothbrushes effectively remove plaque and food residue to help you avoid tooth decay.
Beyond the fact that the physical motion of the electric braces gets rid of more plaque and food particles, it often makes people feel more motivated to brush after every meal since it is so much easier. And brushing until the toothbrush stops moving (usually after two minutes) can mean you’re brushing your teeth longer than with a manual toothbrush.
Effectively Brushing with an Electric Toothbrush
When you brush with an electric toothbrush, remember that you don’t want to damage your braces, so use gentle pressure. Plus, brushing too hard can damage your tooth enamel and gums. Move the tip of the brush in a slow, steady motion and switch angles to effectively get all sides of your braces.
Start at a 45-degree angle towards your gums, move down to brushing straight on, and then move to a 45-degree angle on the bottom of your braces. Be sure to apply the brush to all other parts of your teeth as well. When you’re done brushing, your braces should look cleaner and somewhat reflective. Be sure to floss every day as well to reduce your chances of gingivitis or gum disease. Supplementing your daily cleaning with mouthwash and water flossers will help as well.
To learn more about life with braces and if orthodontic treatment is right for you, contact Crescent Orthodontic Specialists today and schedule a free consultation.