Also known as eBrace systems, incognito braces are the hidden lingual brace type popular among our adult dental patients in Solihull and Bromsgrove. But what makes them hidden, you ask? Great question!
Incognito braces look and function similarly to the traditional fixed metal brace. But instead of fixing the braces to the front side of the teeth, they are attached to the back of the teeth (on the tongue side of the mouth – also known as the lingual side). It’s this ‘‘incognito’’ effect that gives these braces their name and makes them a popular choice among patients looking for a discreet orthodontic treatment option.
Incognito braces pull the teeth into the corrected position instead of pushing them like a traditional brace. Not only that, but lingual braces are completely bespoke to each individual. They are designed to deliver optimum results and can correct a variety of dental issues, including crooked or overcrowded teeth, gaps between teeth and under/overbites.
We’ve covered everything you need to know about hidden lingual braces in a separate blog, Why Incognito Braces are Taking Birmingham by Storm. But one question prospective patients considering an ebrace system often ask us is ‘‘How do you maintain oral hygiene with braces behind teeth?’’ If this question is troubling you, let us put your mind at ease.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene with Braces Behind your Teeth
Regardless of which brace type you choose, it can feel strange when your new brace is fitted and the idea of practicing good oral hygiene may feel like a mammoth challenge. Cleaning your teeth becomes much more complex with brackets and wires to get around. That said, while brushing your teeth may take a little longer with a lingual brace, it isn’t as complicated as you might think. And it’s made even easier if you have the right cleaning products for the job! Here are our recommendations for maintaining good oral hygiene with braces behind teeth:
- Brush after every meal: Brushing in the morning and at night is hugely beneficial for your oral health, regardless of whether you wear a brace. But if you are a brace wearer, then we strongly recommend brushing your teeth after every meal and snack. Brushing frequently will decrease the amount of food debris lodged between your teeth, brackets and wires. A soft, round-bristle toothbrush will do the job (an electric toothbrush is preferred, but we recommend patients keep a manual travel toothbrush and paste set so they’re never caught on the go).
- Brush at the gumline and below the brackets: Brush at a 45-degree angle with the bristles pointed toward your gumline. Then brush on top of your brackets and below, too.
- Floss at least once a day: Clean between your teeth with interdental brushes or, if you have one, a water flosser. Wearing braces means there are far more areas to trap food particles, which subsequently attracts bacteria and forms a buildup of plaque.
- Use an antimicrobial mouthwash: It can be tricky to reach all the nooks and crannies, especially while wearing a brace behind your teeth. If we don’t maintain good oral hygiene, our mouths can soon become a hive of bacteria when food particles aren’t removed efficiently and effectively. To prevent plaque and cavities from developing, simply swish mouthwash around your mouth at least twice a day as this will help rinse away the smallest of food remains for a squeaky clean and healthy mouth.
- Don’t avoid your orthodontic check-ups: Throughout your dental treatment, your orthodontist will want to assess the condition and function of your brace every six to eight weeks. They will also check for any developing dental conditions and provide advice on care for your specific needs.
- Don’t forget dental wax: Some patients with a hidden lingual brace report an issue where their tongue catches their brace, causing little cuts and sores, primarily in the first few weeks of treatment. While this won’t impact your oral hygiene, it can be uncomfortable, which is why we recommend a dental wax. Dental wax is malleable wax that you break off in small pieces and press onto the metal brackets behind the teeth to create a smooth barrier, providing some relief for your tongue!
Foods to Avoid for a Clean and Healthy Mouth with Braces Behind Teeth
We mentioned this earlier, but wearing braces behind teeth means there are more areas for food debris and particles to become trapped, attracting bacteria and increasing your risk of dental diseases such as tooth decay. But it’s not just brushing, flossing and rinsing that will keep your mouth squeaky clean. In fact, eating healthy foods will also ensure better oral health. There are hard, sticky and sugary foods and drinks brace wearers should avoid, including:
- Chewing gum or toffee and caramel treats – these sticky foods can quickly and easily get stuck in your brace tracking, and can be almost impossible to remove without professional assistance.
- Nuts, crusty bread and popcorn – these tough and chewy foods have the potential to overstress your teeth and brace, or worse, wedge between your teeth and the brace wire, causing the brackets to come off.
- Fizzy drinks and sweets should also be avoided by brace wearers as these sugary treats can damage your tooth enamel irreparably, causing multiple cavities. For patients who do have a sugary treat every now and again, we strongly advise they brush, floss and rinse very soon after.
It is possible to practice good oral hygiene with braces behind teeth. While your daily teeth cleaning regime may take a little longer, it’s not as tricky as you might think. Caring for your teeth and your Incognito brace with regular brushing, flossing and rinsing, in addition to avoiding hard, chewy and sugary food/drink, will keep your brace intact and your teeth strong and healthy.
If you’re considering orthodontic treatment with a lingual brace, register for a free, no obligation consultation with Orthodontics For You, and start your journey to a straighter smile!