During an orthodontic treatment, i.e. the time when braces are worn, one thing is special intensive and careful oral hygiene necessary. The braces themselves also need special care and thorough cleaning.
The reason for the constant cleaning of the braces is the fact that food particles and bacteria can get stuck between the teeth and on the braces particularly well. This promotes the formation of plaque, a bio-film made up of bacterial metabolic end products and food residues, and promotes carious tooth defects or the development of inflammation of the gums (gingivitis).
You should always brush your teeth after every meal, and cleaning the spaces between your teeth should not be neglected.
Every single tooth must be cleaned individually from all sides. If you wear loose braces, the spaces between the teeth can be cleaned with the help of dental floss, but because of the wires, people with fixed braces should rather use interdental brushes (Interdental brushes) or use special floss dental floss, which has a reinforced end with which you can thread it easily under the wires. This is followed by a thicker, looser part that can efficiently remove debris.
Which braces cleaners are there?
Daily braces cleaning is an essential part of maintaining them and removing deposits and bacteria from the braces. It is important that the braces are gently cleaned and that the materials are not changed or deformed by the cleaning agents, which is not always the case.
Good daily aids for cleaning braces include the classic manual toothbrush or the electric toothbrush with toothpaste or just soap. Cleaning with an ultrasound device is also considered to be an optimal variant for cleaning gently and sustainably.
There are also special denture cleaners as tabs or powder, which are not only suitable for cleaning dentures, but also give loose braces a new freshness.
Home remedies include solutions of vinegar and citric acid, which can be used occasionally but diluted by no means for daily use are suitable. Users also report experiences with baking powder or baking soda, which are not advisable, as the products damage the braces more than they help. The right cleaning agent is different for every user, which is why a consultation with the treating orthodontist or dentist can be informative.
Cleaning loose braces
During orthodontic treatment with loose, removable braces, in addition to daily dental care, the braces themselves must be cleaned thoroughly.
The appliance can be carefully cleaned with a normal toothbrush or a special denture brush. Of course, water and toothpaste can simply be used.
Since plaque tends to build up on the surface of removable braces, which sooner or later leads to tartar deposits, the devices should be immersed in a special cleaning solution for about 15 minutes at least once a week.
The box provided by the dental laboratory should be used to store the braces; the orthodontic devices are protected from contamination and deformation in this box.
You can find more information on the topic here: The loose braces
Cleaning with Kukident
Cleaning tabs for dentures are also often used for cleaning braces. Denture cleaners can be purchased in drugstores or pharmacies without a prescription and are available as cream, liquid, powder or tablet form. When using it, care should be taken to follow the instructions for use and especially not to exceed the application time.
If the loose braces are left in the solution for too long, the plastic can change, making it porous and easier to break. It is also important not to change the mixing proportions that are specified on the package, otherwise the plastic of the braces can also be damaged. Denture cleaners are, however, not suitable for daily cleaning, but are intended as additional deep cleaning around 2-3 times a month. Therefore, the cleaning tabs and denture cleaners do not replace the toothbrush as a daily cleaning agent, but are an additional deep cleaner to occasionally loosen stubborn deposits and discoloration. Even slight discolouration from tea or coffee can be removed in this way.
Learn more about the topic at: Denture cleaner
Cleansing with vinegar
Loose braces can be cleaned with a mixture of household vinegar and water about once a week to support the daily cleaning with a toothbrush. However, it is important to dilute one part vinegar to one part water and not use higher doses of vinegar solutions in order not to damage the plastic.
For use, the loose braces should first be rinsed thoroughly before they are soaked in the vinegar solution for about half an hour. The braces should then be thoroughly rinsed and brushed off again to remove all traces of acetic acid so that it does not stick to the plastic for too long. Care should be taken when brushing the To hold the braces only on the plastic elementsnot on the wires so as not to bend them. The water should also not be too hot, otherwise the plastic will deform.
The occasional or daily ultrasonic cleaning for the loose braces is highly recommended, as the ultrasonic waves gently loosen deposits and residues without damaging anything. A 3-5 minute application is often enough to thoroughly clean the braces. Ultrasound devices for home use are available from around twenty-five euros and are considered a safe cleaning method for braces.
Cleaning with other home remedies
In addition to acetic acid, some home remedies are considered suitable tools for cleaning loose braces. This includes citric acid, which, like acetic acid, is used in a certain mixing ratio with water as a bath for the braces. Citric acid is also not a means for daily cleaning of braces, as it can damage the plastic with increased use. It is also suitable for occasional intensive cleaning.
Baking soda and baking soda are not suitable as cleaning agents, as they remove too much material from the soft plastic when you scrub with a toothbrush, making it unstable.
Cleaning fixed braces
If you wear fixed braces, cleaning the orthodontic appliance is rather uncomplicated.
Much more problematic, but all the more important, is ideal dental care around the glued-on brackets.
Learn more about: Brackets of a brace
Harmful effects of the brackets on the tooth substance can only be avoided if food residues and bacterial metabolic products are thoroughly removed. Braces that are behind the teeth are automatically cleaned better by the tongue than those on the outside.
Read more on the topic: Braces behind the teeth
When brushing your teeth, you should start alternately in the lower and upper jaw. On even calendar days, it is recommended to start in the upper jaw and on odd days in the lower jaw. The front of the tooth can be divided into two parts, one above the wire and one below the wire.
Both parts must be thoroughly cleaned one after the other when cleaning the braces.
For effective cleaning without damaging the gums, the brush head should be placed on the tooth at a 45 ° angle and moved back and forth for about 5 - 10 seconds. This procedure is repeated on each individual tooth until the entire jaw is cleaned.
You can find more information on the topic here: The fixed braces
To avoid plaque build-up on the gumline and below the gum line, it is important to clean the gums as well. Extreme caution is advised here, because too much pressure can be irritating and promote receding gums.
After the front surfaces of all teeth have been cleaned, the chewing surfaces and the inner surfaces of the teeth should be cleaned.
It is advisable to use a toothbrush with a small brush head when cleaning.
When choosing a toothpaste, it is beneficial to choose a cream with fluoride.
In order to get the tooth surface directly below the wire clean, you can use small space brushes. Dental care should start with cleaning the spaces between the teeth (Interdental spaces) to be completed and completed.
Special coloring tablets can be used to control your own brushing behavior from time to time, because as soon as they are dissolved with a little water inside the oral cavity, the unbrushed parts of the teeth are colored and thus become visible.
You might also be interested in: How to make dental plaque visible
Cleaning with an electric toothbrush
The electric toothbrush in combination with toothpaste is considered to be a good aid for thorough daily braces cleaning without damaging the fixed braces. The rapid rotation of the electric toothbrush gently removes deposits and slight discoloration. Nevertheless, care should be taken not to exert too much pressure with the electric brush and to thoroughly clean all areas, including the clamps.
The cleaning results of the toothbrush are satisfactory and it is considered the best possible care after wearing the braces. However, the toothbrush is not sufficient for the hard-to-reach areas under the arches and in the interdental spaces. Dental floss or interdental brushes must also be used for these areas so that cleaning is sufficient.
Cleaning with the oral irrigator
The oral irrigator is especially suitable for cleaning stuck food residues in the interdental spaces and can serve as an additional aid for cleaning with a toothbrush and dental floss with fixed braces.
The oral irrigator is not sufficient as the sole cleaning agent, as it can only remove soft food residues and does not loosen any plaque on the teeth. It can therefore only be used in addition and cannot replace a toothbrush or floss. Many dentists and orthodontists refuse oral irrigators, because incorrect use can force food particles into the gingival pocket, which in the worst case can lead to inflammation and the spread of bacteria into the bloodstream.