Dear Dr. Bronsky,
I just got my new braces, but after brushing my teeth like I normally do, I noticed that there was still some food from my dinner stuck inside my braces. Is there something that I need to do differently when brushing my teeth now that I have my braces?
Basil Braces In New York
Dear Basil Braces In New York,
Thank you for the great question! No one wants to be caught with food in their teeth, and it becomes a little bit more likely to get some leftover food caught when you have your braces. The good news is that there is a slight change that’s necessary to your normal brushing routine that can ensure that your teeth and your braces are clean, pristine, and free from any food particles.
Before we get into the proper brushing technique, I want to say that at Bronsky Orthodontics, we always recommend a complete oral hygiene routine, which includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. The only thing that’s more important than doing all three of those things is making sure that you do them consistently, every day. Only once you have that system going, I’ll be able to safely say that you have, or are on the way towards, good oral health.
Now, for the proper brushing technique while you have your braces. Honestly, it’s not too much different from how your brushing is normally. At the core of your brushing, you should be brushing your teeth for the recommended two minutes at least, moving your brush in a small, circular motion. With your braces, brush the tops and bottoms of the brackets while holding your toothbrush at an angle to allow the bristles to get in between and clear away any food particles or bacteria. While we recommend that you replace your toothbrush every 3 months, your braces can wear down the bristles on your brush a lot faster than usual, so you should consider replacing your brush sooner. Remember that if the bristles on your toothbrush are worn down, it becomes more difficult to reach in between your braces & teeth for a proper clean.
As for flossing, it may be more difficult to floss like you used to with those brackets and wires in the way. You can invest in some floss picks or a floss threader that will make it easier to get the floss in between your braces. Waterpiks are also a great way to clean those hard to reach places, but this should be done in addition to regular flossing, not replacing it.
Finally, rinsing your mouth shouldn’t change with your braces. We recommend using a mouthwash that has fluoride in it, since it helps strengthen your teeth against bacteria and plaque.
Basil Braces in New York, if you have any other questions about your oral hygiene while you have your braces, I would recommend reaching out to the offices on the Upper East Side or Tribeca, and you’ll find the answers you need. Thank you again for your question!