When you get braces, you probably already know you need to brush your teeth after each meal and that you need to avoid eating sticky foods and chewing gum, but you might not be armed with all the information you should have. The truth is, when you are wearing braces, there are more things for you to think about when it comes to brushing your teeth than you may realize. Here is some information that will help you ensure you are caring for your teeth properly in these areas.

Thought should go into your toothbrush

If you have even basic knowledge of proper dental care, then it's likely you own a soft-bristled toothbrush already. However, when you wear braces, you also want a toothbrush that has a rounded head because it will be easier to work around the braces. Rounded-head ones also decrease the chances of the bristles getting caught in the braces, which can lead to damage if you yank the toothbrush while the bristles are snagged.

If you really want to do best by your teeth, then you should choose a toothbrush with a special design that's specifically for braces. One of these designs offers bristles that go inward in a way that allows them to thoroughly clean the braces at the same time as your teeth. Another one offers lower middle bristles that help to brush the braces while the teeth are getting brushed. Understand any toothbrush will wear faster due to the braces, so be ready to replace the brush more often while you have the braces on.

Brush your teeth and the braces

When you brush your teeth, you are still going to want to make sure all the surfaces are cleaned, but you also want to clean the braces. If you opted not to go with one of the specialty toothbrushes mentioned above, then you'll need to angle the toothbrush so it goes along the braces at that angle to help remove leftover food and bacteria. Brush your teeth and braces completely, then rinse your mouth by swishing the water around. Next, go over the braces another time or two. This is the best way to make sure you have dislodged and removed all food.

Use the right toothpaste

When you are choosing your toothpaste when you have braces, you might want to get toothpaste that's specifically for sensitive gums. The extra brushing may lead to some sensitivity issues, and this toothpaste will help. Also, make sure you don't use whitening toothpaste; it can leave you with stains that stand out where the braces were once you have them removed. Talk to an orthodontist, like those at Moricz Orthodontics, to learn more.