Proper brushing techniques are the key to maintaining a healthy smile with braces. Read this blog to learn how interdental brushing can improve your oral health.
Orthodontic treatment can make it difficult for a patient to clean his or her teeth. This can lead to plaque build-up around the teeth, brackets, and wires. To counteract this, the orthodontist will give specific instructions on how to brush properly to prevent cavities, gum disease, and dental stains. In addition to using a traditional toothbrush, he may also recommend interdental brushing—another highly effective method for maintaining a healthy smile.
An interdental brush (IDB) is a small, specially designed brush used to clean between the teeth or brackets where a traditional toothbrush can’t reach. Those without braces use an interdental brush to clean between the teeth, but orthodontic patients also use them to clean around and between the brackets and wires on their teeth.
Read this blog to learn how to properly use an interdental brush and how interdental brushing is beneficial for people with braces.
How To Use an Interdental Brush
Before purchasing an IDB, be sure to ask your orthodontist which size will work best for your smile. Interdental brushes come in various sizes—correlated by color— to benefit all types of smiles.
Orthodontic patients should use the interdental brush one time per day after brushing with a traditional toothbrush.
To properly utilize an interdental brush, follow these instructions:
- Move the appliance up and down on either side of the brackets
- Pass the brush along the orthodontic wire when moving from one tooth to another, continuing to move it up and down
- Rinse after each use
- Replace the brush when it begins to look worn
The Benefits of Interdental Brushing
Aside from helping patients maintain good oral health, an interdental brush provides several benefits, especially when compared to dental floss.
The advantages of interdental brushing include:
- Easy use
- Patient compliance
- Higher motivation
- Reduced inflammation
- Safe to use
Many times, orthodontists instruct patients on how to use dental floss to clean between their teeth and brackets. It can be a complicated process that many patients won’t give a second thought when they leave the orthodontist’s office.
IDBs offer all of the same advantages along with the simplicity of use. Patients with dexterity issues have a greater appreciation for this appliance because there are variations of the brush with a long, bent handle.
More Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Braces offer so many benefits and provide patients with beautiful smiles! However, braces also require proper care and responsibility. To ensure you have the best orthodontic experience, follow these guidelines:
- Avoid chewy, crunchy, sticky, and hard food
- Avoid foods that require biting into
- Do eat soft foods like dairy, bread, grains, seafood, cooked vegetables, and fruits
- Rinse with saltwater when you’re mouth feels tender or sore
- Learn how to fix a loose wire
- Utilize wax to relieve irritation
- Wear a mouthguard
If you follow these tips, and other specific instructions from your orthodontist, you’re sure to have a great orthodontic experience. Along with having a beautiful smile at the end of treatment, you’ll also have a healthy one!
Contact Our Sacramento Orthodontists Today
At Markham Orthodontics, Dr. David Markham and Dr. Steven Scott provide excellent, gentle care to patients of all ages. Our goal is to help patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that they can’t wait to show off.
Call our friendly dental team today