Cleaning around your braces is super important. The orthodontic team will provide instructions when you have your braces fitted. However, if at any point you find yourself struggling to keep your teeth and braces clean then always ask your orthodontic team for guidance. You don’t want to end up with perfectly straight teeth that are discoloured or decayed! Cleaning your teeth during brace treatment involves some additional brushes and time. Allow 3-4 minutes for thorough cleaning; the equivalent of listening to your favourite tune on Spotify or YouTube.
Cleaning Around Fixed Braces (train-tracks) or Fixed Retainers (wire glued behind the front teeth to keep them straight after train-tracks) you will need the following:
- a regular toothbrush with a small sized head and medium to soft bristles
- a single-tufted brush
- interproximal brushes in at least 2 different sizes (small and large)
- superfloss is an alternative to the small interproximal brush
- a daily fluoridated mouthwash.
You will need to brush thoroughly in the morning, before bed and approximately 20 minutes after every meal. 20 minutes is suggested to allow the acid that forms after eating to be neutralized before brushing, this reduces the risk of damaging the enamel.
The regular toothbrush is used, unsurprisingly, in the regular way. The end tufted brush is useful for removing larger pieces of food/debris from around the brackets and is especially good at cleaning partially erupted teeth and wisdom teeth. The small interdental brush (or superfloss) is the equivalent to regular floss and is used to clean between each tooth. The large interdental brush is placed under the wire and used to clean either side of the vertical portion of the bracket. The fluoridated mouthwash is a useful addition to reduce the risk of dental decay and is best used last thing at night and/or during the day when a more thorough toothbrushing is not possible due to location or time constraints. Make life easier for yourself and have 2 sets of all of the above – one set stays at home in your bathroom and the other set is portable e.g. in a pencil case.