3 Questions To Ask Yourself About Brushing While You Have Braces
BRUSHING: IT’S THE FOUNDATION for keeping your mouth clean and healthy. And while you’re in braces, it’s especially important that you do a careful, thorough job. So now is a perfect time to really examine how well you brush your teeth. Ask yourself these three questions:
1. Are you using the proper brush?
Your toothbrush should be small enough to reach every small corner inside your mouth, and it should have soft bristles. Braces can make your toothbrush wear down faster, so get a new toothbrush every few months.
2. Are you using the right techniques?
Brush with the bristles against your teeth and gum line at a 45 degree angle. Brush in small, circular strokes, imagining plaque being swept away from the gum line.
NEVER brush too hard. Think about holding your toothbrush like a paintbrush! When it comes to brushing, elbow grease won’t get you anywhere—it just flattens the bristles against your braces where they can’t do any good. And, it can wear down your enamel more quickly.
3. Are you thorough?
It takes at least two minutes to do a thorough brushing job… 30 seconds per quadrant. While you’re in braces, it may take a little bit longer. And, don’t forget these frequently ignored spots:
- inner side of your front teeth
- your tongue
- inner side of back molars, next to your tongue
- carefully around all braces corners and orthodontic work
Watch This Helpful Video & View These Guidelines
The American Dental Hygienists’ Association has produced a quick-reference guide.
Ready To Take It To The Next Level?
If you feel like you have the basics covered, try these tips:
- Brush without toothpaste. It makes you more aware of where you do and do not brush.
- Try a plaque-disclosing tablet or rinse. Usually made for kids, these products color the plaque on your teeth so you can really see your progress.
- Most people follow the exact same pattern each time they brush. Try starting in a new place every day.
- Don’t forget to floss! Use special tools for between your teeth and your braces, if needed.