Keeping your smile healthy with braces

During orthodontic treatment, keeping your teeth and mouth clean and healthy is essential. When we fit your braces, we’ll take you through all the tools and techniques you’ll need to brush and floss effectively.

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Whether you’re wearing braces or not, healthy teeth and gums are a must. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a whole host of problems, including bad breath, gum disease and decay. In extreme cases, it can even lead to tooth loss.

There’s also a link between your dental health and your overall health. Gum disease, for example, has been linked to illnesses such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

If you’re wearing braces, it can be slightly more challenging to keep your teeth clean, but it’s even more important.

Neglecting your oral hygiene routine could cause your teeth to discolour. When we remove your braces, you might be left with lighter patches behind the brackets.

If plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, this can lead to demineralisation, which can cause white spots on your teeth. Eventually, you could develop a cavity and need a filling.

Thankfully, with some extra care and a few adjustments to your daily routine, you’ll be able to avoid these outcomes and finish your treatment with a beautiful, healthy smile.

Tips to care for your teeth and braces

Invisalign patients

If you’re wearing Invisalign aligners, it will be that much easier to brush and floss your teeth. You can just remove your aligners to clean your teeth as usual.

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Use dental floss and/or an interdental brush to clean between your teeth
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash once a day – at a different time to brushing
  • Always remove your aligners to eat and drink (water’s okay)
  • Brush your teeth before you put your aligners back in

Fixed brace patients

If you have fixed braces, you’ll need to clean carefully around your brackets and wires to prevent plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) from collecting.

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Brush thoroughly around your brackets and along your gumline
  • Use Superfloss or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth and underneath your archwire
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash once a day – at a different time to brushing
  • You can use a disclosing tablet to highlight any areas of plaque that you might have missed

Cleaning fixed braces

We stock VITIS oral care packs, which contain everything you need to look after your teeth and gums.

Eating and drinking with braces

We advise all our patients to cut down on sugary and acidic foods and drinks, especially between meals. If you have fixed braces, you’ll also need to avoid anything that could damage your brackets or wires.

Steer clear of anything hard, chewy or sticky, for example, crusty bread, pizza crusts, toffees and unsliced apples.

Instead of biting into things using your front teeth, cut them up into bite-size pieces.

If you experience any problems with your braces, contact us for advice as soon as you can.

Don’t forget to see your dentist

If we have any concerns about your dental health, we’ll advise you to see your general dentist. It’s also vital to maintain regular dental health checks and hygiene visits during your treatment.

If you have any questions about keeping your smile healthy while wearing braces, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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