Dental braces are comprised of bands, brackets and wires placed on the teeth to straighten and align them. On average they will stay on a patients teeth for around two years. While the braces are on, it is more challenging to keep the teeth and gums clean as there are many more nooks and crannies where plaque and bacteria can be trapped. Often, other dental aids are necessary to maintain a clean and healthy mouth. Listed below are essential dental tools to use while dental braces are on.
An electric toothbrush is one of the most essential tools to be used with dental braces. Electric toothbrushes simulate brush strokes at a much faster rate than you can achieve with your hand. That means you have to hold the toothbrush for a few seconds on each tooth, making sure to access all surfaces of the tooth, and the brush will do the work for you. Electric toothbrushes either use an oscillating or sweeping motion.
Because the wire of the braces blocks the contacts of teeth, it is necessary to use a floss aid to access the gum line. There are several different options for floss aids. Floss threaders are small loops that will pull the floss through, and super floss is a pre-cut piece of floss with a ridged end to poke through the contact underneath the wire. It is important to try several options and find the one that works best for you.
A water flosser is an electric powered tool that is used to shoot water in a jet-like stream through the contacts of the teeth and around the brackets. The water flushes out bacteria that are difficult to access. Water flossers also help to keep the gums healthy.
Interdental aids are tools that help to clean between the teeth and around the brackets. An example of this is a small angular brush that helps remove plaque with the bristles.
More Frequent Cleanings
Regular professional dental cleanings are an essential part of maintaining a healthy mouth with dental braces. Some areas are tough to access, and even while using the right tools at home, may harbour bacteria. Cleanings every 3-4 months help to reduce the amount of bacteria accumulation and also provide a check up on the health of the gums and teeth.
It is essential to talk with your orthodontist, dentist or dental hygienist about the right tools for you. If you have any questions about any dental aids, or believe you may benefit from more frequent cleanings, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.