Cleaning Teeth with Braces—What You Need to Know

Straightening your teeth—like any worthwhile goal—requires an investment of your time and energy.

If you want to enjoy a smile that’s free from malocclusions, you’ll need to consider if you’re ready to put forth the needed effort, especially if you’re evaluating metal braces.

It’s no secret that fixed orthodontic appliances create some complications during treatment, such as broken brackets, irritating wires, and more.

Oral hygiene is no exception. Cleaning your teeth with braces will require a significant amount of patience. Before you commit to a year—or more—of metal braces, here are a few facts you need to consider:

Carefully Cleaning Teeth with Braces Is a Necessity

It’s always important to keep your teeth clean, whether you’re straightening your teeth or have a perfect smile. However, when you’re wearing braces, you’ll find that oral hygiene is not an option you can skip.

Without a commitment to oral hygiene, your orthodontic treatment can lead to some serious drawbacks. Cleaning teeth with braces is a necessity because you’ll want to…

  • Avoid demineralization. As Oral-B1 explains, not maintaining good oral hygiene, especially during orthodontic treatment with braces, can lead to demineralization that creates the appearance of white scars on your teeth.
  • Avoid bad breath. Oral-B2 also explains that it’s important to keep your teeth clean because food can become trapped in your braces, creating halitosis.
  • Avoid embarrassment. Another thing you need to consider is that procrastinating on brushing your teeth can lead to embarrassment. The last thing you want is a piece of spinach clinging to your braces during an important business meeting.

Cleaning Teeth with Braces Should Be Frequent

Another thing to know about keeping your teeth healthy during treatment is that oral hygiene will need to be frequent.

According to the Dental Associates, ideally, you should brush your teeth after eating any food. It’s a daunting task if you consider how many quick snacks or rushed lunches fill your week.

However, with metal braces, getting out the toothbrush isn’t so easy. With braces, you’ll need to work around your brackets and wiring—carefully. As Colgate3 explains, brushing your teeth with too much gusto can actually damage your braces.

When it comes to flossing, the American Dental Association4 advises cleaning between your teeth once a day. Once you have braces, you may want to increase this number.

Perhaps your oral hygiene is relaxed now, but choosing this orthodontic treatment will require change. Cleaning teeth with braces may be difficult, but it must become a routine habit in your life.

Brushing and Flossing with Braces Is Difficult

The brackets, rubber bands, and archwires of braces make brushing and flossing anything but easy. So you’ll need to make wise choices when it comes to your cleaning options.

For toothbrushes, Colgate recommends that you choose a toothbrush with…

  • A small head to make brushing more convenient.
  • Soft bristles to avoid irritation to your gums.
  • Round-ended bristles to be gentle on your mouth.

Flossing with braces will be rather complicated as your archwires create a constant obstacle to your dental floss. To make the process easier, you can easily purchase a water flosser or dental threader.

From the frequency of your brushing to the flossing device you choose, cleaning teeth with braces will take a significant amount of work. As Oral-B explains…

“Be prepared to spend three times as long on your oral care while you have braces on your teeth.”

The good news is you can straighten your smile while significantly decreasing the amount of effort you’ll need to put into oral hygiene.

Instead of opting for metal braces, choose the convenience of Invisalign clear aligners.

Unlike metal braces, Invisalign is removable, allowing you to slip your aligners off before cleaning your teeth. With the ease of clear plastic aligners, there’s no need for buying a water flosser or worrying about demineralization.

Straighten your smile without making oral hygiene a hassle, and discover how Invisalign makes your orthodontic treatment simple. Find the MiSmile Invisalign provider near you to schedule your free Smile Evaluation.