For most people, a simple toothbrush and roll of string floss are all that is necessary to maintain good dental hygiene. However, when you have braces, you may struggle to perform adequate cleaning with a basic toothbrush and floss. Here are five dental products to consider investing in to help keep your braces clean.
1. Electric Toothbrush
Manual toothbrushes rely on you using your arm to move the toothbrush head in a gentle circular motion to sweep away plaque. When you're cleaning around braces, you may find that you can't move the brush head in smooth circles, as the wires and brackets get in the way. In contrast, electric toothbrushes use a motor to oscillate a small brush head, allowing you to clean the tight spaces between your braces.
2. Orthodontic Brush Heads
Some electric toothbrush manufacturers provide brush heads specifically designed for people with fixed braces. These brush heads are typically small, with flexible bristles that can reach between wires to remove food debris and plaque. They are also designed to be gentle to reduce the risk of damaging your braces when you clean your teeth. Be sure to buy enough orthodontic brush heads so that you can replace your old one with a new one as needed throughout your orthodontic treatment.
3. Interdental Brushes
Getting string floss between your teeth when you have wires and brackets fixed in place can be a real struggle. Interdental brushes are a good alternative for cleaning between your teeth. If your teeth are tightly packed, select the smallest size of interdental brushes so you can slide the bristles between your teeth to clean them.
4. Water Flosser
Although more expensive than string floss or interdental brushes, a water flosser can make cleaning between your teeth fantastically easy and convenient. All you need to do is point the water jet at your teeth, and high-pressure fluid will drive out plaque and traces of food. Many people who have braces find this option much easier than trying to clean around their braces with interdental brushes or floss.
Even if you don't normally use mouthwash, your dentist may recommend that you rinse every day during your orthodontic treatment. This is because it is very difficult to thoroughly clean around braces. Mouthwash can help to kill any bacteria that are left behind after you brush and floss, reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.