How to Keep Your Teeth Clean and Healthy When You Have Braces

Crooked, gapped, or crowded teeth don’t have to cut into your self-confidence. With braces, you can get the straight smile of your dreams. And with groundbreaking options like Fastbraces®, you might spend less time in braces than you imagined. 

Shiva Hogugi, DDS, Ramin Rajaee, DDS, and Aziza Askari, DMD, offer our patients at Livonia Family Smiles a broad variety of options to get straighter teeth. As experts in traditional braces, our team in Livonia, Michigan, can help correct even the most serious tooth misalignment issues.

We can also help you protect your oral health while you have braces. It’s important that you’re diligent about keeping your teeth clean, and that might mean taking some extra steps. 

The importance of cleaning around your braces

Braces have helped people get better smiles for decades, but they do pose one short-term risk

Specifically, the metal brackets on your teeth and the attached archwire can trap food particles. If you don’t remove that food, it oral bacteria work on it to develop plaque. Left untreated, those plaque deposits can eat into the enamel that protects the outer surface of your teeth. It can contribute to cavities and teeth staining while compromising your gum health. 

Ultimately, while you wear your braces, it’s important that you clean around them to keep your teeth and gums healthy. 

How to clean around your braces

Here’s a step-by-step guide to keeping your teeth clean and healthy when you have braces.

  1. Rinse your mouth with water to dislodge any food particles that might be trapped under your braces. 
  2. Use a toothbrush designed for braces. Brush gently at a 45° angle above and below your brackets. Make sure you brush along your gumline. 
  3. Brush the sides of your teeth facing your tongue normally. 
  4. Clean between your teeth. You can use a floss threader to get floss between your brackets, but many people find it easier to use a water pick to clean under and around their brackets. If you want to learn more about flossing with braces, check out this guide.
  5. Finish with a mouthwash rinse. This helps to remove any remaining bacteria. 

If cleaning around braces sounds like too much work, talk to Dr. Rajaee, Dr. Askari, or Dr. Hogugi about clear aligners. These teeth-straightening devices are removable, so you can brush and floss normally. 

If you want to explore all of your options for straighter teeth and learn more about how to keep your mouth healthy during treatment, call our Livonia Family Smiles office or email us at pm@livoniafamilysmiles.com today. 

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