Everything you need to know about tooth brushing

Par Dr. Normand Bach 01/05/2018

One of the first things you have to keep an eye on while undergoing an orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign is the food you eat. It’s important to avoid certain foods that could interfere with the success of your treatment. And the topic of food leads quite naturally to the topic of tooth brushing! But how exactly should you do it when you’re using orthodontic appliances? In this article, you’ll learn the four most important things you need to know about brushing your teeth.

1. Choose your toothbrush wisely

First of all, make sure you get a brush with soft bristles. Since the accessible surface of your teeth is reduced by the space taken up by your braces, your toothbrush will make even more contact with your gums than it normally does when you brush. By using a toothbrush with soft bristles, rather than hard ones, you’ll avoid damaging your gums. To prevent a buildup of bacteria under the gum line, tilt your brush 45 degrees and brush in a sweeping motion, starting from the gum line and moving toward the biting edge of the tooth. It’s also preferable to start with your upper teeth.

2. Dental floss

Braces are a paradise for bacteria, with plenty of nooks and crannies where they can hide and multiply. To avoid jeopardizing your orthodontic treatment, it’s important to floss your teeth once a day. Be careful not to damage your braces or the arch wire linking them. Even if it proves to be a little more complicated than it would be if you weren’t wearing appliances, it’s vitally important for you to stick with it. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of periodontal disease, like gingivitis. We’re confident that you’ll develop a few ingenious tricks over time! At your local pharmacy, you’ll find floss threaders and other gadgets to help simply the process, as well.

3. Preliminary brushing

Before brushing your teeth with toothpaste, start with a preliminary round of brushing to lift away any food particles that may have become caught in your braces. For this preliminary brushing, you only need to moisten the bristles of your toothbrush with water. Use a sweeping movement, rather than a scrubbing or sawing motion. And don’t neglect the space between the brackets and your teeth, as this is the most likely place to harbor food particles, creating an ideal medium for the proliferation of bacteria.

4. Toothpaste

Once you’ve completed the preliminary round of brushing, it’s time to use toothpaste. A very small amount will do. To help you figure out how much toothpaste you should use, picture an amount about the size of a pea. Here’s another little tip: when you brush your teeth before bedtime, you don’t need to rinse out your mouth. The light film of toothpaste left in your mouth will have the same effect on your teeth as a fluoride supplement—a product that’s very beneficial for the health of your teeth.
So, there you go! You are now a bona fide tooth brushing professional! Keep in mind that the most effective trick to brushing your teeth the right way is to be patient. Set aside a minimum of two minutes, just for brushing. If you follow all the advice your orthodontist gives you, you can rest assured that you’re doing everything you can to make your treatment with braces or Invisalign a success!

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