If you have new braces, you probably also have a lot of questions. On top of adjusting to the fresh look and feel of them, it’s important to learn about orthodontic oral health.
First, is it safe to use mouthwash with braces? Yes, it is! When you have braces, oral hygiene is incredibly important. It is easy to get plague stuck around the brackets, which can lead to tooth decay and discoloration. In order to prevent white spots and discoloration on your teeth, good oral health routines are extremely important—and mouthwash is an excellent way to keep your mouth and braces squeaky clean.
Why Should I Use Mouthwash?
Mouthwash has many benefits. Fresh breath is one of the first things people think of, and that is definitely an important reason to use mouthwash. No one wants to feel self-conscious about their breath, and mouthwash can help kill bacteria that cause bad breath. It also helps prevent plaque build-up and can remove tiny particles stuck around the teeth and gums.
The biggest benefit for those who have braces is cavity prevention. Fluoride helps prevent cavities and strengthen enamel, and mouthwashes with fluoride can be a particularly helpful addition to your oral health routine. When choosing a mouthwash for braces, look for one that contains sodium fluoride. Sodium fluoride prevents tooth decalcification, which is what leaves white spots under braces. You also want to find one that is alcohol-free in order to protect the brackets. Mouthwash is an underappreciated part of oral health that has fantastic benefits once you get into the routine of using it.
What is the Best Mouthwash for Braces?
When choosing a mouthwash for braces, the number one thing to look for is sodium fluoride. Some other things to look for:
- High pH is important. Low pH means high acid, which can damage your enamel. Studies have shown that a rinse after eating can help restore your pH levels, so be sure to find a mouthwash with a high pH.
- You also want one without alcohol. Alcohol can cause dry mouth, which increases your risk of cavities and gum disease. With braces, alcohol can also erode the brackets and there is a risk they will disconnect.
- Sodium fluoride is a protective agent that can improve your oral health and reduce the risk of cavities. The CTx3 Rinse is perfect for this, and it also neutralizes acidic oral pH. With 0.05% sodium fluoride, this will lower your risk of cavities and support your long-term oral health.
- Xylitol is a substance found in many plants but typically extracted from corn and birch. Commonly used as a sugar substitute in gum and mouthwash, it can help reduce plaque build-up and dental decay. Oral bacteria feed on sugar in food, but they cannot feed on xylitol. Xylitol starves the bacteria, lowering the risk of cavities.
How to Use Mouthwash for Braces
Ideally mouthwash should be used twice a day, morning and night. This does not replace flossing and brushing, but it is a worthwhile addition. When using mouthwash, take the time to swish it around. You want it to loosen all the particles and get it everywhere in your mouth to get maximum protection for all your teeth and gums. Rinsing your mouth every day can become more than just something you need to do but also something you look forward to. Braces are a big change that will ultimately reward you with healthier, more beautiful teeth. Mouthwash can help you achieve those rewards as you find your way to a happy, healthy smile.