Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Cleaning your Braces


Having this hefty metal work surrounding your teeth means brushing and keeping your mouth healthy and hygienic. First of all, do not try to chew gum, as this will inevitability get stuck on the brackets and be a complete nightmare to remove. For instant freshness, on the go, stick to mints and lemon sweets (in small doses due to the high level of sugar). One of my top tips for improving breath is to ensure you always brush your tongue daily. This alleviates a lot of the bacteria that causes bad breath.  When you have braces you will have to brush your teeth more frequently and ideally you should be brushing after every meal to remove plaque and build-up of food matter.

So on with the cleaning. See below the list of products I used and found helpful during my time with braces.

Toothpaste – Ideally something extra minty and strong. I used Aquafresh Toothpaste Iso-Active Whitening gel. I like the way the toothpaste foamed up and made me feel like my whole mouth was fresh in between the teeth and brace work.
Brace brushes – Small pipe cleaner style brushes found in most supermarkets and pharmacies. Boots sell a set that has different size bristles. These can be very useful when you need to remove stains from behind the wires or around the brackets.
Denture brushes – The smaller style denture brushes. I found these useful to scrub around the brackets.
Manual toothbrush – I found this useful to have in a toothbrush holder and carry in my bag for emergency cleaning. Mostly I used my manual brush during the day when I was at work after lunch to clean my teeth and to freshen up.
Electric toothbrush – I had an Oral-B Vitality White & Clean rechargeable toothbrush which cost me around £20. I preferred the smaller headed electric toothbrushes as it made it easier to brush around my mouth with the limited space. It was also good for getting into the smaller places, odd angles and behind the teeth.
Floss / water pik – Flossing it very important for everyone. So it is of the up most importance for someone who can not completely brush their teeth due to metal work. Your dentist will most likely tell you to floss but from my experience this was nearly impossible. I invested in a water pik in my final year of brace work and found this was quite beneficial. I have the WaterPik Ultra Cordless Water Jet WP450.  I purchased mine from boots and it cost around £50. Please be aware that these waterpik’s are quite strong so if you have sensitive gums or teeth this may not be the best option for you.
Mouth wash – When I had my brace work I was really conscious of bad breath, so would always opt for the strong and minty mouthwashes like Listerine. However post braces I have tended to use more sensitive mouthwashes such as; Sensodyne gentle mouth rinse. The most important point to remember here is, do not use Corsodyl as your main mouthwash as this will severely stain your teeth. When I had ulcers and sores I would use Corsodyl before bed but rinse briefly (10-15 seconds) and afterwards brush over my teeth with a manual toothbrush to avoid the stains.
Stain remover – Once a week I would use Eucryl a powder stain remover. I would brush my teeth as usual but after I would brush again using a manual brush and some stain remover. I found this kept my teeth looking white and feeling extra clean. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and find the information useful whilst undertaking orthodontic treatment. If you would like any more information on braces, jaw surgery, orthognathic surgery or facial pain do not hesitate to drop me a message on my Facebook page: Steffie’s Stuff or alternatively you add me on twitter: www.twitter.com/jawandface I look forward to hearing from you.

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