Lingual braces are a conspicuous and effective orthodontic treatment, yet there are a few tips to follow in order to keep them clean.
If you were once concerned about how your smile would look, accessorised with wires and O-loops, with lingual braces you no longer have to. All you’ll have to worry about is making sure your braces are kept safe, and of course, clean.
What are lingual braces?
Unlike the traditional metal braces you’ve probably seen in a multitude of teen-movies, lingual braces, sometimes called “inside braces” are braces that are affixed to the back of your teeth. The brackets, wires and O-loops are thus safely hidden from view and invisible when you smile.
Just because they are virtually invisible though, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to go easy on the cleaning. Nope. Certainly not. Lingual braces need to be properly cleaned on a regular basis if you’re to keep cavities at bay and ensure your treatment time is effective. At AAA Orthodontics, Brisbane, we let you know how to keep your lingual braces clean with these tips:
Tips to keep your lingual braces clean
#1: Brush your teeth after every meal
You can brush your teeth using a toothbrush with soft, round bristles or an electric toothbrush. Usually, brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day, is sufficient; but with lingual braces it is best to brush after each meal in order to prevent food particles from festering in the crevices of your braces. Removing bacteria and debris from your teeth and around your braces timeously, reduces the chances of tooth decay. If you’re not at home and without the comfort of your bathroom mirror, it is advisable to carry along a compact mirror and some dental floss or a dental pick to remove unwanted food particles trapped between your braces.
For cleaning purposes, you should avoid gooey, sticky foods like caramels and toffees, which can be a mission and a half to remove once they’re stuck in and around lingual braces.
#2: Use Super Floss
Consisting of 3 components: a stiff floss threader, spongy floss, and regular dental floss, Super Floss is a tool specially designed to clean between your lingual braces. With the stiff threader, you can clean beneath your braces; the spongy floss allows you to clean off the plaque and food particles more effectively; and the regular floss can be used to floss between your teeth. Flossing after each meal ensures that your teeth and gums remain healthy.
#3: Always keep interdental cleaners on hand
Available in a variety of sizes, interdental cleaners have lateral brushes that are able to fit between those tight spaces, removing any plaque and debris that you might have missed with the dental floss.
#4: Get yourself a water pick
If you’re not much of a flossing maestro, then you may find a water pick to be an extremely handy tool. You can use a water pick to flush out the larger particles of food stuck in your lingual braces, making cleaning sessions a lot faster and easier. Keep in mind that a water pick cannot reach those tighter spaces that floss and interdental cleaners can. Effective cleaning combines the use of a water pick with flossing.
#5: Schedule regular dental cleanings
Even if you do practise proper cleaning techniques, it is still necessary to visit a dentist at least twice a year to prevent a build-up of plaque or calculus.
#6: Maintain regular check-ups with your orthodontist
Visiting your orthodontist for regular check-ups will ensure that your treatment plan is on track and that any brackets aren’t loose. Your orthodontist will also inform you if you are cleaning your lingual braces effectively; and if not, can recommend any improvements or changes to your cleaning routine.
Lingual braces in Brisbane
At AAA Orthodontics, here in Brisbane, Dr McMahon, will ensure that your journey with lingual braces is a smooth one. The team will take you through the cleaning routine, step by step, so that you are well-equipped to clean your braces by yourself.
If you would like to book an appointment or have any questions at all – contact us today.