Those who wear braces either for medical reasons or on cosmetic grounds choose to have the structure of their mouth altered, most commonly through the use of braces. Braces come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the structure of the mouth, the age of the patient and the type of treatment required. They can take up a large proportion of the mouth meaning small pieces of food can get trapped in and around the brace structure, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
Using a soft bristled toothbrush with a small head will help you reach the parts of your mouth that can be challenging to clean. Your toothbrush should be placed at an angle (about 45 degrees) and you should aim to make circular motions, cleaning each surface of your individual teeth.
Don’t hurry or you will fail to brush accurately. You should be 4 times a day when undergoing braces treatment – these are:
- After breakfast.
- After lunch.
- After supper.
- At bedtime/ after the last time you eat during the day.
Be sure to replace your toothbrush every few weeks to ensure that it is performing to the best of its ability. If the bristles on your brush are starting to fray, you know it is time to replace your toothbrush.
Flossing will help remove food particles from in-between your teeth and stop the build up of plaque.
How to floss
- Place the straight end of floss under the wire between two teeth.
- Floss between the two teeth and move in a C shape in between each tooth.
- Rinse the debris from your teeth after running the floss between each set of teeth.
Fluoride mouthwash will help clear out the debris lingering in your mouth. Using mouthwash after you floss is advised as this will clear out the bits that the floss may have dislodged but not cleared.
Cleaning removable appliances
Removable appliances should be taken out each day to be cleaned. Try to soak your appliance 3 times a week to avoid build-up of bacteria and unwanted debris. You can do this by dissolving a Polident in water. This will also make the appliance taste better in your mouth.