Posted on: 3 August 2017Share
Lingual braces are a popular choice for those who want to combine the effectiveness of traditional metal braces with a less noticeable appliance. Fitted behind the teeth, lingual braces are pretty much entirely hidden from view, which means nobody will even know you're wearing them most of the time.
The problem is cleaning them. The spot behind the teeth is one of the number one spots dentists find people aren't brushing their teeth thoroughly enough, and with braces in place, it's not only more important, it's also harder to clean.
To help you stay on top of your hygiene and keep your braces clean, here are some tips.
Brush your teeth as normal, making sure you use the tip of the toothbrush to gently clean the backs of your front teeth with a circular motion. If you find this difficult, using an electric toothbrush can be really helpful.
Follow this up by cleaning with a single tuft brush, which will allow you to get to the hard to reach places and into all the awkward angles. Finally, use a small interdental brush to clean behind and between the wires and anywhere else you couldn't reach with the other tools.
Be careful flossing around the wires of your braces in case the floss gets snagged. It's better to use interdental brushes on these teeth, but you can floss elsewhere or in any gaps the brushes are too big to fit into.
You should use a good quality antibacterial mouthwash every time you brush, plus other times throughout the day to rinse away debris from food. This will make it much easier to keep your braces clean.
In addition to the other cleaning steps detailed above, many people like to use a water flosser to blast away debris and plaque. These tools are effective at reaching places you can't otherwise get to, and they can be used with mouthwash instead of water for extra cleaning power.
You may also find it useful to get a small pocket mirror or a dentist-style angled mirror to check around your braces after cleaning. This will help you spot anywhere you might have missed, so you can deal with the problem quickly and make improvements to your technique. Without doing this, it's very difficult to see what's going on with lingual braces. You should also make sure you stick to your regular appointments with your orthodontist so they can see any developing problems and advise you how to fix them.