AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

If you currently have braces on your pearly whites, you know just how much of a pain it can be to take proper care of your teeth. Brushing seems almost impossible, as you just cannot seem to get into all the “nooks and crannies” in between the brackets. And flossing? Forget it. Seems nearly impossible and you think it just might not be worth the effort after all.

img braces colors 300x229 How To Take Care Of Your Teeth With Braces

Img: braces colors, source

However, when you have braces, your teeth are weakened because the glue on your brackets can promote tooth decay. For this reason, brushing and flossing your teeth while you have braces is very important. In addition, you don’t want to allow additional plaque build-up on your teeth that could cause tooth decay and all sorts of dental complications. You also don’t want to increase chances of getting gum disease as a result of failing to brush and floss. And finally, you want to make sure that when those braces come off, you have the pearly white smile you had when they went on. If you don’t brush consistently, it is possible (and pretty likely) that you will have white spots on your teeth where the brackets were, as the rest of your smile has yellowed. No fun at all.

If you’re wondering how to correctly brush and floss those teeth, here are a few tips to help you out.

  • Have a stock of Soft-Picks, which are thin, disposable pick-like brushes that fit easily between the brackets of your braces. Basically, these are mini toothbrushes that can help you push out any food that is hiding in these spots. This helps reduce the likelihood of getting cavities and creating plaque.
  • Purchase an orthodontic brush. Unlike regular toothbrushes, orthodontic brushes have a V-like shape, which allow them to move easily around brackets to get into areas that others cannot.
  • Make flossing easier by purchasing a floss-threader. These almost look like floss themselves, but they have a loop at the end to make flossing easier. You thread your floss through this loop. You then put the threader between your teeth underneath the archwire of your braces and gently pull your floss through. Now you floss normally, moving the floss up to your gums. Admittedly, it takes a bit longer than flossing without braces, but it is certainly worth the effort in order to ensure that you maintain your healthy teeth and gums.
  • The best method for brushing your teeth while you have braces is called the Modified Bass Method. This is basically just a fancy name for angling the bristles of your toothbrush at 45 degrees to the brackets on your teeth. This helps you get up close to where the brackets and teeth meet for a deeper, more thorough clean.
  • It is best to brush after every meal to ensure that food particles are not left in your braces. If you don’t have a toothbrush with you, make a stop at a nearby bathroom and swish water around in your mouth.

As you practice taking good care of your teeth, you will find that it isn’t all that hard after all. These additional measures really become a simple habit. And these are habits that will keep your teeth strong, white, and healthy for years to come.

Author Bio: Dr. Nathan Tanner is a dentist in Billings, MT., who has extensive experience through owning his own practice, Grand Avenue Dental Care, and from teaching cosmetic and pain-free dentistry at the OHSU dental school.


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