A healthy smile is a happy smile.

We are taught from a young age to keep our teeth clean by brushing and flossing. As soon as you finish your breakfast, you probably head to the bathroom to brush your teeth. When it’s time to go to bed, you brush again.

Even though many people lie about how often they floss, we know in the back of our head it’s important. However, all of the brushing and flossing can be made much more difficult with braces.

Below are 9 tips on how to keep your braces clean. Keep reading for a healthier smile.

1. Take Action After Every Meal

Realistically, no one goes through the effort of brushing their teeth after every single meal every day. It’s not something dentists expect, but you can still take some sort of action after you eat.

Whether you just finished a fresh salad or your favorite McDonald’s treat, slosh some water around your mouth to help remove any pieces of food stuck in your braces. You can even purchase travel-sized mouthwashes to use while out on the town.

This is an easy way to keep braces clean without lugging around toothpaste and a toothbrush everywhere.

2. Go the Extra Minute

After going through the effort of choosing the best braces, make sure to go through the extra effort of taking care of them. One more minute of brushing per usual can go a long way.

The suggested time per brush is 2 minutes, but don’t be afraid to brush for 3 minutes. You may brush off some food and gunk you didn’t get in the first little bit.

It’ll also help guarantee you won’t have any major staining or white marks after the braces are taken off of your teeth.

3. Don’t Forget to Floss

We’ve all had the awkward moment of creating a small white lie when the dentist asks, “Do you routinely floss?”

As tedious as the task can be, it’s crucial when you need to keep your braces clean. It removes food stuck in the teeth and rids plaque your toothbrush may not catch.

To help navigate the braces, purchase a floss threader. It’ll help get the floss where you want it, and you know how to handle the rest!

4. Avoid Certain Foods

Super sugary and acidic foods can damage your teeth.

Acidic foods like vinegar and citrus fruits can strip away the enamel on your teeth. Candy and potato chips can increase your chances of a cavity.

Having cavities can cause you to feel pain and heightened sensitivity when eating certain foods. Take action immediately if you have any of these symptoms.

5. Be Gentle

Even though braces are strong and sturdy, it’s still important to use a gentle brush. Too tough of bristles can loosen a bracket.

As you brush your teeth, make sure to not use too much pressure. Brushing your teeth too often can also be dangerous for your teeth.

6. Don’t Forget the Tongue

Brushing the tongue is extremely important because it keeps your breath fresh. No one wants stinky breath as they continue throughout their day.

It’s also important because it helps remove bacteria that may sit and fester on the surface of your tongue. When you have braces, it’s crucial to catch bacteria before they hide in the metal.

7. Seek Alternatives

In the case of forgetting toothpaste on a quick trip, don’t be afraid to seek alternatives. It can seem weird at first, but something is better than nothing.

Coconut oil is a great choice for a quick clean up if you’re missing toothpaste. It contains bacteria-fighting elements and can even fight against tooth decay. This product can honestly be used for just about anything it seems.

You can also grab some baking soda, mix it with a little water, and create a quick paste to help clean your teeth. While this shouldn’t be used in place of toothpaste regularly, it does the job when you’re in a dilemma.

8. Attend Appointments

Learning how to keep braces clean can be overwhelming, but your dentist and orthodontist are available to help. You just have to attend your appointments and make sure to schedule regular appointments.

Not only do you get the chance to ask any questions, but your orthodontist can also take a peek in your mouth and let you know if anything needs to be done differently. Make sure to answer all of their questions honestly so you receive proper help.

9. Use Common Sense

Some people can grow anxious when they have braces and go overboard on cleaning. Just relax!

Be aware of what you’re putting in your mouth and how you’re taking care of your teeth. It’s nothing to sweat over too much.

How to Clean Clear Aligners

Clear aligners and braces are becoming extremely popular and deserve just as much care as braces!

After a long day, make sure to thoroughly rinse your aligners. This will help in getting rid of bacteria and food particles.

Brush and floss your teeth as normal, but use antibacterial soap and water for your aligners. The toothpaste you use could be too harsh and gritty for the aligner.

You’ll most likely receive a cleaning solution from your orthodontist so don’t be afraid to ask for more if you run out of it!

After you clean them, make sure to leave them in a dry place. You don’t want humidity settling into them overnight.

As an extra care tip, make sure to always brush and floss anytime you are about to put your clear aligner back in your mouth.

How to Keep Your Braces Clean

Learning how to keep your braces clean can seem like a lot for someone with braces for the first time. Luckily for you, it’s simple if you use hygiene rules and common sense.

Make sure to keep up your brushing and flossing routine. Rinse your mouth after meals, and don’t be afraid to throw in an extra minute to your brushing time. Ask your dentist or orthodontist any questions you have.

For more tips on braces and proper treatment, make sure to check out our website and contact us.