Photo by cottonbro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-in-latex-gloves-holding-plastic-jaw-6528782/
Congratulations on getting braces! The journey to straight and white teeth is a serious commitment. If you are getting braces or just got braces on, here is a list of how to succeed!
1. Purchase a Water Flosser
When you get braces, there’s many areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Food gets stuck in your brackets and is incredibly difficult to clear out. That’s why water flossers are very helpful. You might want to do your own research, but they’re basically mini power washers for your teeth. It’s a device that directs a stream of water in between your teeth to get food particles out.
After brushing your teeth, you’ll believe they’re clean. But when you go in with a water flosser, you will be shocked by how much food was still stuck in your teeth. It makes braces ten times easier and works phenomenally. There’s many different brands to choose from as well.
An Introduction Video to Water Flossers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFJ3B-wtFLk&t=239s
2. Renewing Your Proxabrush
A proxabrush is a small tooth brush that helps you clean hard-to-get areas. You use them with a small dot of toothpaste. They’re fabulous to clean your brackets. But, I didn’t realize how frequently they need to be changed. Apparently, they must be changed every week and a half to two weeks. Bacteria can build up within a week, let alone on a small tiny brush. Thus, make sure you’re changing them out.
3. Make a Routine
To stay motivated, make a routine and commit to it every day. You must make sure your routine is actually effective. Talk to your orthodontist on what you should do each day or watch some braces cleaning routines on Youtube. Of course, the required steps are brushing and flossing. But, you may need to add more like brushing your brackets with a proxabrush, mouth wash, tongue scraping, etc. A typical goof routine is: Brush (Round 1), Water Flosser (Jet tip attachment), Brush (Round 2), Brush Brackets and Underneath Wire with Proxabrush, Floss (Dental Floss + Threader), Lip Balm. Obviously, you don’t have to follow this. But it shows you how high maintenance braces are.
Note: Lip balm is highly recommended when you have braces. The fluoride from toothpaste, as well as stretching your lips to floss dries them out.
4. Keep a Pouch
Photo by Shiny Diamond: https://www.pexels.com/photo/assorted-cosmetics-and-leher-pouch-3373737/
Obviously, life will go on– and you’ll be running around a lot. It’s very helpful to carry a small kit with you. Consider this example: You go out for ice cream with your friends. Ice cream is high in sugar. When you eat or drink things high in sugar, you must brush right after. If not, the sugar sits on your teeth and produces plaque. Plaque uses the sugar and creates new acids to attack your enamel and cause cavities.
Not only is it a hygiene thing, but stuck food is uncomfortable and may affect your confidence. You’ll feel hesitant to talk or smile.
In my kit, I keep a few threaders, dental floss, soft picks (better for travel), travel toothbrush, and mini toothpaste. You really don’t need much. Keep these materials separate from your everyday, regular ones. For example, don’t use your home proxabrush in your kit. Germs can be easily spread. Change your outside tools a lot more often.
Another quick note– don’t be embarrassed to brush your teeth in public restrooms. Everyone is focused on getting in and out quickly. They won’t even have time to give you a second glance. As long as you’re not making a mess, there’s nothing to worry about.
5. Don’t Give Up
If you’ve already gotten your braces, you know it’s hard to stay motivated in doing your cleaning routine each day. It can be time consuming and frustrating. However, try to find that commitment for white, straight teeth. Whether that’s looking at peoples before and after braces pictures or listening to music while cleaning. You truly have to stick with it and I promise the reward will be worth it. Set a time at night, a time you know you won’t be eating afterwards. And tell yourself that once the clock strucks that time, you must do your cleaning routine.
Remember that having the resources to get braces is a privilege and you should be grateful for it. Not a lot of people have access to treatment, but you do! I hope that motivates you to keep up with your oral hygiene. If not, remember that poor oral hygiene with braces can cause PERMANENT staining. Best of luck!