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Brushing Technique and Fixed Braces

Fixed braces inevitably present an obstacle to dental care because they have nooks and crannies that are difficult to clean. Nevertheless, the same principles apply to dental care with fixed braces as to normal dental care. We also recommend the Bass technique for fixed braces with brackets: place the head of the toothbrush on each tooth half on red, half on white – i.e. half on the tooth, half on the gum, and clean by making small shaking movements, keeping the brush head almost on the spot.

The only change to the normal Bass technique is that when cleaning teeth fitted with brackets, the brush head is directed downwards for a few shaking movements at 45°, then upwards at 45°. This ensures that food residues and plaque are removed from all possible slippage angles.

It automatically follows that tooth cleaning with fixed braces must take longer than it does without brackets. The ideal time for cleaning teeth without brackets is about 3 minutes, while cleaning teeth with brackets may well take 5 minutes.

However, it is not necessary to clean so thoroughly after every meal. A superficial cleaning after breakfast and lunch will do. However, once a day, preferably in the evening, plaque should be completely removed. The full five minutes should be invested in the evening! If you follow these rules, tooth damage in connection with fixed braces can be almost completely prevented.

Interdental Hygiene with Fixed Braces

Every child knows that a toothbrush is necessary to keep teeth healthy. However, even adults often do not realise that cleaning between the teeth is just as necessary. Dental floss or interdental brushes are not a luxury for fanatics, but just as basic a programme as the toothbrush. Without suitable means for cleaning the interdental spaces, it is impossible to keep teeth and gums healthy in the long run: there is a risk of both caries and periodontitis if the interdental space is constantly filled with bacterial plaque.

Dental floss and interdental brushes

Unfortunately, flossing is severely limited during treatment with fixed braces because the wires of the fixed braces prevent the interdental space from being completely cleaned. You can, of course, try to clean the interdental space at least as much as possible with normal dental floss. Unrestricted flossing is possible despite brackets by using special threaders to guide the floss under the braces. An alternative is to have the orthodontist select one or more suitable interdental brushes. With these small brushes, perfect hygiene of the interdental spaces is possible for most patients, even during treatment with fixed braces. In young patients, however, the interdental space is usually too narrow for brushes, so that only dental floss is suitable for them. It is advisable to brush or floss at least three times a week in the evening.


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