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Video:How to Brush Teeth With Braces

with Dr. Lawrence Spindel

Brushing with braces on your teeth can be tricky, but it's important to do it correctly as you'll be wearing them for years. See what motion to use and the proper technique for brushing with braces.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Brush Teeth With Braces

Hi, I'm Dr. Lawrence Spindel. I have a dental practice in Manhattan with an emphasis on cosmetic implant and preventive dentistry. I'm here today for About.com to demonstrate a proper technique for brushing your teeth with braces.

Importance of Tooth Care With Braces

This is very important because people are wearing braces for anywhere from one to three years. And, often times, because of lack of proper brushing technique they develop white spots around the brackets. These white spots are due to demineralization of the enamel and may mar the effect that the braces will create.

Imagine having braces for two years just so you can have a beautiful smile and ending up with a non cosmetic smile because of multiple white spots throughout your mouth. Brushing your teeth properly will prevent this from happening.

Electric Toothbrushes and Braces

Using an electric toothbrush is an alternative to manual toothbrushing. Because it's mechanized and there's a lot more rotations per minute you don't have to spend as much time or technique on brushing your teeth. If you assume that this is the tooth and this is the gums, this is how you might use this brush. Place it onto the tooth and gently go up and down for about three seconds, bouncing it on the gum. On the margin of the gum. Go to the next tooth. Less time is required and certainly less technique.

Brushing With Braces: Technique

The proper technique involves placing the head of the brush perpendicular to the tooth and then moving it gently up and down about three times on the surface of the tooth. After about three seconds you can remove it to the next tooth.

The whole sequence goes rather rapidly without much technique at all. The difficulty with brushing your teeth with braces is that sometimes the brackets make it difficult to place your toothbrush on the tooth. What you have to remember when doing this is that it's important to place your brush on the tooth the way I described it and then angle it towards the bracket.

Brushing With Braces: Common Problems

People with braces tend to not get the portion of the tooth next to the brackets clean. And this causes the formation of demineralization, which leads to white spot formation. What is required is to angle the toothbrush towards the bracket. If your brushing is performed in this manner it will get the entire surface clean.

This should be performed throughout the entire mouth starting on one corner, working your way around. Switching to the inside, open wide. Twenty seconds a tooth. Then move your toothbrush vertically for the interior section. Make sure not to forget the biting surfaces of your teeth. On the lower teeth, the same applies.

Brushing With Braces: Motion

The motion that's used with this electric toothbrush is vertical not side to side. Don't forget, again, to brush the occlusal surfaces of your teeth.

In the front section, it helps to open your mouth as wide as you possibly can and hold the brush, vertically. If your mouth is not open wide enough, you will not be able to clean the necks of the teeth properly. It isn't difficult to brush your teeth properly you just have to do a thorough job and it certainly helps if you can use an electric toothbrush.

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