It doesn't take too long to get used to having braces once they're put on, but caring for your teeth properly can be a challenge with the new "roadblocks" in the way. The crevices between the brackets and wires create more spaces for plaque to collect and go unnoticed, so caring for your teeth while wearing braces is of the utmost importance to ensure that they're healthy once your braces come off. Dr. Brent Browning, your dentist in Northwest Houston, TX, has provided some information about how you can continue maintaining your dental hygiene even while you have braces on your teeth.
Brushing twice a day is an important habit to maintain without braces, but your Northwest Houston dentist encourages his patients with braces to make brushing a priority by carrying a travel toothbrush and toothpaste with you in a purse or backpack. The process of brushing doesn't change much with braces: you still need to brush for at least two minutes at a time using a soft-bristled brush. However, if it's possible, you should try to brush after each meal using a fluoride toothpaste to help fight plaque buildup. You can also ask your dentist about recommendations for an orthodontic toothbrush that is designed to clean between the hardware.
Keeping the spaces between your teeth free of debris is best achieved with floss, since even the most sophisticated toothbrush can't reach the tight areas where the teeth touch each other. The process of flossing can be difficult to master even if you don't have wires in the way. Those with braces should use a floss threader, a flexible plastic attachment that helps make flossing more streamlined.
As always, seeing your Northwest Houston, TX dentist twice a year for cleaning is necessary for good dental hygiene. During your appointments, Dr. Browning can demonstrate the best cleaning practices while wearing braces. Contact us today for any questions or to make an appointment!