These days it is common for irregular teeth to be corrected with brackets or clasp braces or other bracket variants. You see many children, but also adults and even the elderly, with braces.
If you wear braces, you must pay extra attention to good oral hygiene. After all, the braces form an obstacle when brushing your teeth and moreover food scraps and bacteria can easily remain behind. This provides more plaque, which is also less noticeable due to the bracket.
Because a brace must remain in place for a longer period of time, this excessive plaque can damage the enamel. This can cause stains on the teeth and even holes, which is of course an ugly disappointment if the teeth are straight and braces are finally allowed out. When wearing braces, there is also a slightly greater risk of inflamed gums.
No matter how difficult it is, oral hygiene must be optimal if you wear braces. If that proves to be insufficient, the orthodontist may decide to remove the brace early. It would be a shame if you had straight teeth, which are marred by discolouration or worse problems such as periodontitis with the loss of jaw bone.
It is therefore of the utmost importance to properly care for your teeth during orthodontic treatment. Of course you can also use the tips below to guide your child in this.
How do you take care of your teeth when you wear braces?
Of course it is very important that you brush your teeth well and regularly. Besides the chewing surfaces of teeth and molars, the spaces between teeth and molars, all sides of the brackets of the bracket must also be brushed, not to mention under the wire.
Brushing teeth with braces
With a normal hand or electric toothbrush it is difficult to get anywhere, but fortunately there are special ortho toothbrushes. These are available as both manual toothbrushes and special brush heads for the electric toothbrush. Apart from the special model, it is important that the hairs of the toothbrush are soft.
An ortho manual toothbrush fits over the bracket and has an extra brush to get under the wire. The disadvantage of these brushes is that they do not last long.
Electric brushing with a special ortho brush head is then a better option and also goes a lot faster. Here too a separate brush is attached for under the wire and other small spaces.
With regard to toothpaste, it is important that it respects the natural balance in the oral cavity and does not contain any corrosive substances such as SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). This applies to everyone, but it is particularly important with regard to the extra care that a set of teeth requires. Effective and mild toothpaste that contributes to a balanced mouth flora are, for example, the Toothpaste from OxyFresh and OxyFresh Fluoride toothpaste. For children with braces, toothpaste with a high fluoride content is traditionally recommended.
Brushing your teeth should be done at least twice a day, but better after every meal.
Interdental brushes and toothpicks
You can not only use interdental brushes or brushes for the small gaps between teeth and molars, but also to clean under the wire. The size of interdental brushes is very precise, it is really millimeter work. Because the teeth and molars are intended to move during the process, the correct size can change. This must therefore be regularly checked and coordinated. Apart from the size, there are different types of interdental brushes. Those with loose hairs work demonstrably well, the rubber is still not completely clear.
Dentek’s brushes are very popular among people with braces worldwide.
Toothpicks can be an alternative, but they must be used correctly to prevent damage to the teeth or the braces. So follow the dental hygienist’s instructions and only use wooden toothpicks.
Which mouthwash with a bracket?
With mouthwashes you can reach places where the toothbrush does not come. Often, especially in children, mouthwash water with fluoride is recommended. Mouthwashes with alcohol or other corrosive substances must be avoided and this does not only apply if you wear braces.
You can find effective and mild oral care products at more exclusive oral care stores such as DeMondzorgzaak.nl. With the Oxyd8 Fresh Breath Kit or Oxyfresh Fresh Breath Kit you opt for a total approach to oral care that goes much further than just a fresh breath. The active oxygen formulas in these products ensure that “bad” bacteria do not thrive as well. The natural balance in the oral cavity contributes to the reduction of dental plaque and cavities.
The difference with normal floss is that superfloss does not have to be squeezed between two elements. Superfloss has a hard start, which you can easily stick between the teeth. You can then floss with the piece of felt behind it.
A waterfloss device or mouth shower removes all food, plaque and bacteria with the help of a powerful jet of water or mouthwash. Also in places where the toothbrush is not added, such as the spaces between the teeth and on the transition to the gums. Without a brace, such a powerful water jet is also more effective and hygienic than floss thread, but if you wear a brace, such a device makes cleaning your teeth considerably easier.
A water flosser looks a bit like an electric toothbrush, but the handle is wider. Instead of a brush, there is a small nozzle on the head. Some models have the water reservoir in the handle, others are connected with a cable to an associated device with reservoir.
Clean the bracket
Also the braces themselves need to be cleaned regularly and you do this, just like the teeth, with a toothbrush and toothpaste. This is easy or difficult depending on the type of bracket. A fixed bracket is of course more difficult to keep clean than brackets that can be removed from the mouth. Removable brackets are best cleaned above a sink that is filled with water. This will prevent damage to the bracket if it falls out of your hands.
Food and drink
A healthy diet is important for everyone, but given the effect on oral health, you can pay extra attention to that if you or your child wear braces.
Of course it is not convenient to eat rock-hard products with a stirrup. Sticky sweets such as fudge and chewing gum are also not advisable, because residues easily get stuck behind the braces. It is better to leave sugary and sour soft drinks. In addition, you can better avoid foods with strong dyes, such as beets, black currants and Indian curry. This is to prevent discoloration of the braces and the teeth.
Check-up at the dentist
During orthodontic treatment there are regular checks and adjustments by the orthodontist. In addition, the teeth must be regularly checked by the dentist or dental hygienist to prevent cavities or gum disease from getting out of hand. In addition, special “tell” tablets are used to check whether the teeth are completely clean. Red discolouration indicates spots that are not clean.
Sometimes the dentist uses fluoride treatments to give the teeth extra protection against tooth decay. It is good to have the dental care products that you use checked by the dentist for suitability for use with braces.
Orthodontists, dentists and dental hygienists can also give you specific tips on how to best care for your mouth with braces or that of your child.