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How to Brush Your Teeth While Wearing Braces

By Edited Jul 1, 2014 3 3

Just so long as your teeth and gums are strong enough to sustain the gradual tightening that braces will incur over time, virtually anyone can wear braces. While it may be uncommon to see an older adult wear braces, it is certainly possible. Unfortunately, with the need and desire to drastically change the appearance and structure of your teeth, braces typically can be obtained quite easily but at a rather hefty price tag. Whether you pay for your own braces, or your parents do, this significant investment alone is enough to justify learning how to train yourself to properly brush your teeth while wearing them.

Although your orthodontist and dental assistants should have taught you already how to thoroughly brush your teeth while wearing braces, all to often teeth brace wearers simply neglect to apply the kind of consideration to caring for their teeth that will help to significantly lessen their potential for formation of various gum diseases. Such dental and gum diseases include gingivitis, plaque, and even dental cavities.

Things You Will Need

Flouride Toothpaste
a Regular Toothbrush and/or Proxy Brush
Dental Floss

Step 1

It is important to first understand that great amounts of debris and bacteria absolutely love to congregate around the metal area of your braces. While you certainly shouldn't neglect the remainder of your teeth, it is these areas of your teeth and braces that require the most consideration when brushing.

Step 2

While Americans, especially, love to purchase dental products that bear such words as "whitening", you will want to stay away from using toothpaste that is labeled as such. Instead, a simple fluoride toothpaste should be used. Whatever toothpaste you ultimately end up using should contain the American Dental Associations' quality seal on the packaging of the product. Most toothpaste brands, that you'll find at such places as Wal-mart or Target, will have this seal on them. If you stick to only purchasing a well-known brand, like Colgate, Crest, Aquafresh, or Arm and Hammer, you will never go wrong.

Step 3

With each individual brace adhering to each tooth, the tooth area covered will remain white. Unfortunately, this means that your exposed teeth surfaces will be more inclined to look out of place if their color is tarnished or tainted during the time while you are wearing braces. Because people oftentimes wear braces for rather lengthy periods of time (up to a year or more), maintaining proper brushing technique is absolutely imperative if you would like for your exposed teeth to match the color of your brace covered teeth surface area when your braces are finally removed. In order to help prevent the gradual decline in white color, it is important that you brush your teeth immediately after meals, as well as, immediately before bed. It is these periods of time where your teeth are most exposed to dental decay because of the lingering food particles in your mouth. From these food particles, come sugars and complex carbohydrates that, along with general bacteria and residue, that can cause significant wearing away of your teeth enamel and gums over time.

Step 4

Extending all around both your top and bottom set of teeth, you will want to approach your brushing with a 45 degree angle. Such an angle of your toothbrush head will allow you to get sufficiently into the crevice where your braces meet the white enamel of your teeth. More oftentimes than not, people (even if they don't wear braces) tend to forget that the back of a tooth is, in fact, still apart of that tooth. This area should be brushed just as much as all the other sides of each tooth.

While it may be tempting to brush vigorously, studies have shown that this type of brushing actually tends to do more harm than good. Some may think that the harder you brush the more you bacteria you will remove from you teeth, when, in fact, you may actually begin to cause micro-abrasions that can progress into dental caries because of the gradual wearing away of your teeth enamel. Soft, delicate, toothbrush strokes, that proceed in a circle manner from back to front, is the most optimal way of brushing your teeth.

Step 5

Once you have brushed your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, it is important that you ensure to thoroughly brush the remaining areas of your mouth. These areas include the roof of your mouth, your gums, and, of course, your tongue. Just like the vulnerable area where your metal braces meet your teeth and form a right angle, so also are those areas vulnerable to bacteria that can easily be addressed with thorough mouth care.

Step 6

Because your braces are essentially a very delicate hefty investment, it is important that you show the proper care when brushing them. Wires and brackets can easily be brushed out of place and all effort should be taken to avoid interrupting the natural integrity of what your orthodontist has assembled. While you can still wear your braces if a circular plastic faster comes off, simply contacting your orthodontist can be a great way to schedule an appointment in order to fix or remedy anything that has gone even the slightest bit wrong with your braces.
As you can see from this Info Barrel article, brushing your teeth with braces on is awefully similar to the same movements and techniques you will use once your braces are removed. Delicate and gentle movements of your toothbrush should be had instead of vigorously brushing. Doing this can ultimately help to provide the most optimal of brushing results. Your teeth should also be brushed for at least 2-4 minutes in order to ensure that you incurring the best benefit from your efforts.

Tips & Warnings

Your orthodontist should be the foremost authority in learning how to brush your teeth while wearing braces. Unfortunately, if adequate education was failed to be given (or you simply forgot), he or she can easily address your questions and concerns either over the phone or during your next appointment visitation. While orthodontist offices typically give patients a goody bag filled with dental upkeep supplies, you may want to consider asking if they have any toothbrushes, fluoride toothpaste, or proxy toothbrushes before you leave.


Nov 11, 2010 3:17pm
Ahhh! Wish our daughters had had this article to refer to when they were teens! Good information for anyone who wears braces.
Nov 12, 2010 6:03am
Great info for brace-wearers!
Nov 27, 2010 7:55am
who knew brushing your teeth would be so easy!
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