Common Habits of People with Braces
For those of you who have ever had braces or currently have braces, you know that keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy is one of your biggest challenges. In order to ensure you come out of your braces experience with both healthy teeth and gums there are a few habits you should consider starting to incorporate in your daily routine.
For starters, and this may seem like a ridiculous obvious point, brushing your teeth regularly is key. Though it is important to brush your teeth even without braces, with braces it becomes all the more important. The braces trap food and keep it close to your teeth and gum line. If you have any spaces around the brackets attached to your teeth food particles could become trapped and perfect pits for decay to grow.
It is also difficult to use the traditional toothbrush to get in between your teeth and brushing the gums. The brushing massages the gums keeping a good flow of blood to the area, but also loosens the plaque that is building up. The smaller heads on many of the electric or battery-operated toothbrushes help get in those harder to reach areas. With a number of quality brands and options to choose from, find the one that will keep you brushing.
With braces, flossing becomes quite the difficult chore. But even though it is difficult, it is probably as important if not more important that brushing itself. There are a number of products out there, which can assist you with flossing. The first is an air pick. This is a portable electronic or battery operated hand held devise similar to the electric toothbrushes. It works by shooting air in between your teeth and along your gum line.
Also similar to this is a water pick. These have been around for a while, but continue to improve in quality. Both air picks and water picks are good, and you will get many experts touting their belief of one being better than the other, but it comes down to your personal preference. You can give them both a try to see if one suits you better than the other, but those aren’t the only flossing options.
If electric devises are not your preference you can get flossing needles. These are stiff pieces of plastic a little thicker than dental floss that look like an embroidery needle. You thread your floss through the eye of the flossing needle and poke it between your teeth above your braces and wire. Once you pull it through you will have the floss in between your teeth and able to reach your gums. It makes flossing a little more arduous and time consuming, but definitely an easy option to ensure you floss.
In recent years there has been a new product that has come out that also assists in flossing. It is called Gum Chucks. These little nun-chuck type sticks assist you in reaching those back teeth. With the finger like probes they have you can easily floss between your teeth with or without braces. The advantage to this product is it gives you both hands to easily maneuver without having your hands bound by wrapping floss around your fingers.
The last really important habit to make sure you include in your teeth cleaning regiment is to use mouthwash. If you already brushed and flossed, he mouthwash will help completely remove the plaque and food you loosened. Find a mouthwash and flavor that works and is approved by your orthodontist, and swish it around your mouth before spitting out. Follow these simple and logical habits to a happy and healthy smile!
Written by Dr. Darren Wittenberger, the best orthodontist Columbia MO has to offer, and owner of his own practice, Advance Orthodontics. Dr. Wittenberger enjoys sharing his expertise to ensure people can maintain the healthiest, straightest teeth possible!