Braces: how to brush your teeth properly ?

Appareil dentaire

If you are here, it is because you have braces of some kind: braces, aligners, wires or other. So you need the right method to brush your teeth properly. Indeed, taking care of your teeth and gums during your orthodontic treatment is important for your oral health as well as your general health. Poor oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment can have serious consequences for your oral health. This can lead to oral diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis or cavities. It is therefore important to clean your braces thoroughly to prevent these diseases from developing and damaging your treatment.  

Here is a guide to understanding how to brush your teeth with braces.

The most commonly used types of braces

Braces

They are usually made of stainless steel or transparent plastic, or even the colour of your teeth. They are usually attached to the front of the teeth. In addition, a wire is passed through the brackets and adjusted by the orthodontist to exert the appropriate pressure.

Lingual braces


Lingual braces are placed on the inside of the teeth so that they are invisible, unlike traditional metal braces. They can therefore be much more difficult to clean. It is accompanied by a metal bracket on the back of your teeth.

Traditional bands


These types of braces are a metal band that is wrapped around each tooth. A band is attached to each tooth. They are used less and less, unlike the other braces mentioned here.

Wire retainer


This is the most commonly used fixed appliance for orthodontic retention. It keeps your teeth aligned by placing a metal alloy wire on the lingual side of the teeth inside. It prevents your teeth from shifting or returning to their original position.

Earmuffs


This is a removable appliance that takes the shape of your teeth. It is made from an impression of your teeth. This impression looks like a mouthguard. It is most often used to correct dental malposition. It is also made of either plastic or resin.


Habits for proper tooth brushing

It is important to develop a set of good habits in order to be able to brush your teeth properly with braces. This is the only way to avoid oral problems.

Here are all the good habits you need to develop:

  • Good brushing frequency : it is important to brush your teeth twice a day: after breakfast and before bedtime and after lunch if you can.
  • Good brushing time : Ideally, brushing should last at least 2 minutes.
  • A suitable toothbrush : use a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles: manual or electric
  • Changing your toothbrush : you should change your toothbrush or toothbrush head at least every 3 months.
  • The right diet : you should not eat too much sugar and nibbles as this accelerates the formation of cavities. 

You can use the Y-Brush electric toothbrush to brush your teeth properly. This is because the nylon bristles of this toothbrush are extra soft, which makes it easier to brush difficult areas than a traditional toothbrush. In addition, the bristles throughout the brush ensure that no area of the teeth is overlooked.

Toothbrushing technique with braces


It is particularly important to have the correct brushing technique with braces as they retain all food and germs after each meal. Your orthodontist will usually advise you on the correct technique.


Here is the brushing technique to use in all circumstances:

  • Place the brush over and under the braces and brush in a circular motion several times.
  • Go over all the teeth and brush them completely, making sure that the bristles of the toothbrush go under the wire of the braces.
  • Be careful that the bristles of the toothbrush should lightly cover the gum near the teeth and the gum should be brushed gently.
  • Pay particular attention to the gum line, as this is a difficult area to access with braces attached to the teeth but is particularly important to brush properly.
  • Continue brushing even if the gum is bleeding, as this indicates that you have not brushed well for several days and that bacteria have caused the gum to bleed.
  • Brush all surfaces of each tooth. It is also important to gently brush the tongue and palate as well.

The material to be used to complete toothbrushing

1) The interdental brush

    This is a small brush that has been specially designed to clean between your teeth. It allows you to thoroughly clean the areas that a toothbrush cannot reach. It is particularly good at cleaning under braces and between braces because the back and forth motion it makes allows you to clean all the spaces. They can be used every day with care so as not to damage the gums.

    How it works:

    • Insert the brush easily and perpendicular to the interdental space. The bristles should be in contact with the teeth.
    • Move the brush from the inside to the outside, without rotation, and then move the brush from the inside to the outside without rotation.

      2) Plaque developer

      This is particularly useful for highlighting plaque that is not visible to the naked eye. It is a product that colours the areas where food and bacteria remain and need to be removed. It allows you to check that brushing has been particularly effective. You can then focus your next brushing on these areas with toothpaste until the colouring disappears.

      How it works:

      • In liquid form: Dilute 2 to 3 drops of the liquid in a little water and rinse your mouth with the liquid.
      • In the form of chewing gum: Rinse your mouth with clear water and chew half a tablet, keeping it in your mouth for about 30 seconds. Spit it out and rinse your mouth again.

      3) Flossing

      Flossing removes plaque from between the teeth that cannot be reached with a toothbrush, and therefore the plaque bacteria. It is able to get into the deepest corners of the gums and fits better between the teeth than a toothbrush. It should be used at least once a day before going to sleep. It also prevents the development of cavities.

      How it works:

      • Simply use a floss threader like a sewing needle and facilitate the insertion of the floss under the orthodontic wire, between each pair of teeth.
      • Once the floss has been threaded under the wire, it is slid between the teeth in the conventional way.

      4) Fluoride mouthwash

      Fluoride mouthwash remineralises the enamel and protects and prevents caries in children and adults. It is also often prescribed by orthodontists to limit enamel decalcification: the loss of calcium from the enamel that can lead to tooth loss or white spot lesions. It is important not to eat or drink for 30 minutes to avoid eliminating the fluoride. 

      How it works:

      • Use the specified amount of mouthwash recommended by your dentist.
      • Keep your mouth closed and rinse your mouth vigorously with the mouthwash then spit it out. 


      We hope this guide has helped you understand the importance of brushing your teeth regardless of the braces you wear. We also hope that you will be able to apply all the little tips we have given you for successful tooth brushing. If you follow the brushing method described above and use the right materials. Well-maintained braces can help prevent oral problems.  

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