So, you’ve joined the braces brigade. First of all, welcome. You may have heard some embarrassing tales of those who have sported orthodontia before you—“beware of Oreos and other snacks that can clog up your new hardware” horrors, etc. Truthfully, you have nothing to fear on your journey towards a straighter smile; you just need the right tools for the job of keeping your braces and teeth clean until the day of your big new smile unveil! Here are some insider must-haves to arm you as you achieve your new smile.
Braces pose as a hotbed for bacteria growth as food now has more places to get caught, which can inevitably lead to plaque buildup and cavities. Waxed floss is typically preferable for those with braces as it doesn’t get caught in the wires or brackets and it doesn’t shred into tiny ribbons during use. The Cleanburst variety has a mild, minty flavor that ups the ante on freshening your breath as the floss cleans hard to reach areas between teeth and around the braces. If you need to, you can use floss threaders to maneuver the floss around your new mouth hardware. Once you get the hang of threading the floss through the spaces around the wires, brackets, and your teeth, you may find that you don’t even need threaders to achieve an effective flossing session.
These floss-toothpick hybrids are great for on-the-go, thorough cleaning of the areas between your teeth and brackets. Formulated especially for braces-wearers, the Plackers Orthopick Flossers come in a handy zip-close bag that makes for easy, sanitary stowing away in your purse, pocket, or backpack.
GUM Soft Picks
If your teeth are a bit more sensitive (and they may be during the early stages of having your braces!), the GUM Soft Picks are like a super-soft toothpick designed to reach even the tiniest, ultra-narrow crevices surrounding your braces. It’s important to note that this product should only be used as a supplement to flossing. Flossing using actual waxed dental floss is your very first line of defense against pesky bacterial buildup in your mouth. The GUM Soft Picks are another solid option for when you’re in transit or you don’t have access to your dental floss or toothbrush.
Selecting this American-made toothbrush in a soft bristle version is sure to leave your mouth clean every time you brush. And with specially created CrossAction Bristle technology, you’ll be able to angle around every wire and bracket when you brush without missing a spot. The back of the toothbrush’s head also includes a tongue and cheek cleaner to banish any residual bacteria in the mouth, guaranteeing the freshest breath possible.
According to Dr. McCarthy, a board-certified orthodontist at Birmingham Orthodontics and one of the Consumer Research Council’s Top Dentists in America for ten years running, the Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush is a crucial tool to making sure those with braces reach every component necessary for a healthy smile as they brush. While studies prove there is no real difference in quality for electric toothbrushes versus standard manual ones, Dr. McCarthy asserts that electric toothbrushes are essential as they can allow for a more thorough brushing if you have braces and are concerned about missing certain “in-between” portions of your wires and brackets. In addition, these electronic toothbrushes are an ideal alternative to traditional toothbrushes for those who are on the go and seek a deep clean when time is precious between extracurricular activities like running lines for a play, speed drills at basketball practice, or ACT-prep classes.
This specially formulated wax creates a barrier between your braces-covered teeth and lips. Sometimes just after people have had their braces applied, the wires and brackets irritate the inside of the lips. The wax is made from a clear, medical-grade paraffin that coats the sharp edges of the brackets and wires, keeping your mouth more comfortable as you adjust to your new orthodontic appliance. Orthomechanics brand wax is waterproof and made to fully adhere to the appliance for all-day relief.
This mouthwash was created specifically with braces-wearers in mind. ACT Braces Care Mouthwash is alcohol-free and contains a unique formula that dissolves bacteria-causing germs often lurking in the slimmest, hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth, gum, and brackets. A quick rinse of the minty-cool mouthwash ends up being mild enough to keep your eyes from watering while containing the perfect amount of wintery-tingle to completely prepare you in case you are forced to encounter any close-talkers.
At Birmingham Orthodontics, our mission is simple: we create smiles. Not only do we straighten the crooked grin, fix the bite, and adjust the jaw, we also brighten yearbooks, help young people come to like their looks, and give adults the confidence they have wanted for a long, long time. We also believe in our staff. Our culture of continuous learning has allowed us to host monthly training sessions for each team and bring in leading industry consultants to help keep us ahead of the curve. Contact us for a free consultation, or any questions you might have.