Braving the Braces

Hi Critters, Oswald here!

There comes an age that every parent starts to wonder…do my children need orthodontic intervention? That is often a question I see asked here at Children’s Dental Care. As patients of ours, we consistently evaluate your child’s bite and alignment at every visit. If/when we feel your child could benefit from an orthodontic evaluation, we will start a referral process for you.

So, what to do when your pearly whites are suddenly covered up with all that metal!? I have some tips for you that I have gathered from Dr. Wully and our dental hygienists at Children’s Dental Care!

  1. There’s no rush when you brush! We have a whole blog post on this you can find HERE. This is even more important if you have braces. Long gone are the days where you can brush multiple teeth at once. With braces, make sure you treat each tooth as an individual. Spend 4-5 seconds brushing EACH tooth to keep it bacteria free.
  2. Angle your tooth brush. With the brackets of the braces laying in the center of your teeth, you will want to angle your toothbrush to ensure they stay clean. This means, angle your tooth brush 45 degrees downward on top of the brackets, with the bristles facing the floor, as well as angling your toothbrush 45 degrees upward with the bristles facing upwards.
  3. Touch your brackets. Make sure you pay special attention to where your tooth and your bracket touch. This is the area where the most plaque and food debris can accumulate.
  4. Use an interproximal brush. These brushes may be small, but they sure are mighty. They look like little Christmas trees, and are the perfect size/shape to get into those hard-to-reach areas that your toothbrush cannot get to. These tools should be used in between each bracket to remove food debris and plaque…especially after eating!
  5. The more, the merrier! The more often you can brush and floss while in orthodontic care, the better. If you have braces, you are at a higher risk for dental decay. The more you can brush, floss, and use mouth rinse (with FL2), the better off your chances will be being cavity free.
  6. Use a floss threader, platypus flosser, or water flosser! The only way to get floss in between brackets and under wires is by using some type of adaptive flossing aid. Lucky for you, there are now many on the market! Floss threaders are a great tool to “thread” the floss underneath the wire. Platypus flossers are an easy way to floss in between brackets. The shape of these tools allows the floss string to fit under the arch wire with ease. Lastly, a water flosser is another great tool to have on hand! This thin, powerful stream of water is a master at “power blasting” food debris out from in between your teeth…even with brackets on!
  7. And lastly, you will want to see your friendly dental hygienists’ and Dr. Wully for your 6-month checkups! We recommend having your orthodontic wires removed prior to coming to see us for a cleaning. This ensures that you will receive the best possible care for your teeth!

Remember, having braces is only temporary! It is your job to stay on top of the home care everyday in order to keep them clean and cavity free! And don’t forget…WEAR THAT RETAINER! Good luck 😉

Stay flossy,

Oswald