Most of us have had or still have to wear braces or retainers at some point in our lives, and if we haven't, there is a good chance our kids do. While they help keep our teeth straight and aligned, they can also attract food and plaque which needs to be removed promptly to avoid staining your or their teeth.
No Excuses to Avoid Flossing
Many dentist recommend brushing your teeth after every meal when you wear braces, and even using the fluoride mouthwash afterwards. It is recommended to brush up and down every tooth under braces with a regular toothbrush, before a special proxabrush specifically designed to clean between two braces is used.
While braces can make it harder to floss, it is possible and just slightly more complicated and needs to be done to preserve the health of your teeth. You do it by easing the floss between the main arch wire and upper part of the tooth closest to the gum. Flossing needs to be done gently on the sides of both teeth the floss is between, making sure not to put too much force around the arch wire.
Clean Retainer, Clean Teeth
Since retainers are removable, teeth hygiene is generally maintained as usual. However, it is very important to keep the retainer clean as well or all the brushing and flossing might be in vain. A retainer needs to be cleaned once a day by soaking it in a cup of warm water mixed with denture cleansers. It is necessary to rinse the retainer properly before reattaching it.
It might seem like a lot of work, but keeping your teeth clean and healthy while wearing braces or retainers is imperative, and definitely worth it. You want everything in order so that once the devices are off you can finally show off your new smile to everybody immediately, without additional visits to the dentist.