Tips For Cleaning The Arch Wires Of Your Braces

Posted on: 7 December 2016

If you have recently had traditional metal braces secured on your teeth, then your orthodontist or cosmetic dentist has likely informed you that you need to clean the teeth carefully. If you do not, then food and bacteria can gather around metal brackets and create pits around each brace. This can create a serious and unappealing decay problem. If you want to prevent this, then you will need to learn how to clean underneath the arch wires.

Use Flosser Tools

Arch wires are the wires that match the natural curvature of the dental arch and sit in the middle of each tooth brace. Specifically, the wires are the thick wires that run through the braces and attach to the brackets that sit on the second molars. The wires stay in place the entire time you have your braces, much like the metal braces themselves. The arch wires can build a formation of plaque as well as some calcification. This often happens along the back side of the wires. Plaque and calcification attract bacteria, so it is best to remove the debris before decay develops in the teeth.

The wires can be hard to clean, but you can work floss behind the wires to clear away plaque and debris. It can be difficult to thread regular floss under the wires. Instead of trying to use a single piece of floss, purchase some floss threaders instead. The threaders are looped pieces of floss that can be easily moved underneath the arch wires. Move from one space to another, making sure to scrape the floss along the back of the wire and also in between the teeth.

Use An Electric Toothbrush

Manual pressure and brushing motions are needed to remove plaque and debris. However, it can be hard to work the bristles of a toothbrush under the arch wires to clean them. Small brushes called interproximal brushes can be used to complete the cleaning. You also can also use an electronic toothbrush. Electronic toothbrush heads vibrate to remove plaque and debris easily.

Once you purchase the cleaning tool that you like best, buy some tartar control toothpaste. This type of paste will remove plaque gently and keep tartar from forming on the teeth. This can help to keep calcification down along the back sides of the arch wires so bacteria no longer have a food source. Most tartar control pastes have fairly gentle ingredients as well. This can minimize damage to the braces and also reduce irritation along the gums. Click here for more info.