Now about the title of this post... We're adults and we generally think we know how to brush our teeth but when you have braces on your teeth, brushing is very different than without braces. Braces automatically puts you in a high risk category for cavities because it is really difficult to keep your teeth clean. Our teeth are naturally shaped so that food can get flushed away from the teeth. With braces there are a million more areas for plaque to get trapped and bacteria to wreak havoc on our teeth and gums.
Below a very embarrassing photo of my teeth before I knew about proper brushing techniques. The picture was taken right before I had a cleaning. We put a dye on our patients teeth before their cleaning to show were plaque and calculus is built up. On a person without braces, usually the plaque is built up along the gum line and in the areas between the teeth. When we put the dye on my teeth, the plaque was built up directly beneath the wire. That's when I realized just how important it is to use a proxabrush in addition to a regular toothbrush and floss.
|you can see with this dye on my teeth that all of the plaque is built up right beneath where the wire normally is.|
Adding the use of a proxabrush immensely helps with getting your teeth clean. Also if there are spaces between any of your teeth you can use it not only around the brackets but also between the teeth to help get them clean. The last thing you want after putting so much time and effort into having straight teeth is to end up with cavities or gum recession because you neglected your teeth while the braces were on. This video explains how to use the proxabrush better than I can in words.
Here is another video about brushing with braces- because the technique is different than normal brushing.
and for flossing.... I've tried to use superfloss, but it takes SOOO long. Now, I've been using "ortho flossers" which are like floss picks but with a thin edge so they can fit under the wire. The brand I absolutely LOVE are called platypus orthodontic flossers
They are seriously amazing. I've found other brands that are similar at the drugstores and dental isle at the grocery. They are soo much faster than using superfloss. When I was just searching around on the web I found something called the flossFish. It also looks really great and easy to use. I'm definitely going to get some to try out!