Effectively Cleaning Your Teeth while Wearing Braces
Despite the stereotypes that have attached themselves to braces, those who need to wear braces on
their teeth should not shy away from doing so. Braces, and the professional orthodontic or dentist that
administers their use, are only concerned with the overall and long term well-being of the wearer’s oral
Challenges of Braces
Still, however, many people who wear braces on their teeth can find it difficult to adequately clean their
teeth with the braces on. Keeping one’s teeth and mouth clean, especially while wearing braces, is
extremely important to overall dental care; after all, what good are straight teeth if they are filled with
decay and cavities?
Braces provide specific challenges to the wearer when it comes to
keeping their teeth clean because of all the nooks, crannies, gaps and
spaces where food particles can remain lodged even after a thorough
brushing. These areas are likewise perfect breading grounds for decay-
causing bacteria and plaque buildup, so keeping teeth clean during the
entire orthodontic procedure is vital to long-term dental health and it will
require a little more work than usual.
But before learning what you can do at home to ensure that your teeth
are getting sufficiently clean while wearing braces, you will first need to
learn what foods to avoid and which ones to eat to help you keep your teeth clean with orthodontics.
Food, or anything that you put in your mouth, has the ability to either help or hurt your teeth, and the
same is true (if not amplified) while you are wearing your braces.
Learning What to Eat
Some of the foods to avoid while wearing braces include apples, cherries, oranges, peaches, pineapples,
tomatoes, pickles, soft drinks of any kind, sports drinks, vinaigrette dressings, BBQ sauces, and salsas.
This list of damaging food to the braces wearer may surprise some, as
many of the above options are healthy fruits, but it is not their nutrients
that are in question it is their high acidic content.
Because braces trap food, those foods with high acidicy can cause severe
damage to the teeth of a person wearing braces. Instead of these acidic
foods a person with braces should strive to eat foods that are low in acid
content such as bananas, melons, carrots, cucumbers, poultry, eggs, or
nearly any type of green vegetable.
With a low acidic diet, you will be able to further protect your teeth from
damage while wearing your braces. But there are still many more things
that you can do from home that will help you to keep your teeth bright and healthy throughout the
How to Keep your Teeth Clean
One of the first is to add an additional minute to your regular brushing time. Even with braces, brushing
your teeth with a soft bristled brush is one of the best ways to keep your teeth clean and cavity free.
Similarly, flossing is still as vital as ever, and maybe even more important now that you are wearing
braces. You can floss with braces first stringing the floss through the wire cross bar of the braces and
then proceeding to floss as normal.
Many patients of dentists in Mt. Pleasant MI have also found that they also enjoy having a water pick
device that they use to clean their teeth as well as their braces, but this does not mean that water picks
are for everyone. No matter what additional tools you find helpful in your routines to keep your teeth
strong while wearing braces, remember that caring for your teeth now that you have braces is more
important than ever and you hard work will be rewarded with a brilliant smile and healthy teeth.
Photo Credit: pork, meltingdog