How to Take Care of Your Teeth with Braces: 4 Braces Maintenance Tips

orthodontist in Washington

Taking care of your teeth can be challenging, but doing so while wearing braces is a whole other ballgame. Nonetheless, you must stay up with your regular dental care and practice perfect oral hygiene. This is crucial since there are so many crevices in braces where food can get stuck. Plaque, the result of food stuck in the teeth, can create a wide range of dental issues. In the long run, taking good care of your braces will result in a more pleasant experience and more efficiency, bringing you closer to your goal of a picture-perfect grin.

In addition, this will reduce your risk of experiencing an orthodontic emergency. This means you won’t need to make an unscheduled appointment with your orthodontist in Washington, D.C., to have a damaged bracket or band replaced. As a result, you’ll also save both your time and money.

Here are some guidelines to help you keep your braces in good condition:

Brush After Every Meal

If you have braces, you must wash your teeth more frequently than the suggested twice daily. It’s recommended that you do regular tooth brushing after each meal and each time you have a substantial snack. That’s because it’s easy for food to become stuck in the braces, which can breed germs that can cause bad breath. The accumulation of food debris between the teeth is also linked to a wide range of dental issues, including cavities.

The first step in cleaning your teeth while wearing orthodontics is to remove the elastics and other detachable components. Then, brush your gum line circularly while holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. After that, brush each wire and bracket, starting from the top and working your way down.

You should take your time and go in between the teeth and around the gums to ensure everything is clean. If you want to prevent cavities and gum disease, use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth thoroughly.

Don’t Skip the Floss

If you’re committed to your oral health, you’ll floss after every meal to ensure no food particles are stuck between your braces and teeth. Flossing also helps get rid of any plaque buildup. However, you should never forget to floss gently. You risk breaking your braces if you use too much force or move too rapidly.

Flossing may be more of a challenge with braces, but devices are available in the market to help. You can use regular floss or interspace brushes, which are made to clean wider gaps and can reach more of the tooth’s surface. When compared to unwaxed floss, waxed floss slides more easily between teeth and is less prone to become caught on braces.

Know Which Foods to Avoid

After you get braces, you’ll need to change your diet a bit. It’s because some foods can cause the braces to loosen or break. And you definitely don’t want to visit the dentist unexpectedly because you caved to temptation and ate any of those things. And if you’re the kind who chews your nails or pen caps for mental comfort, you should probably stop doing that, too. Avoiding these behaviors and foods is essential since they can damage or bend braces.

Plaque can form around the brackets if you eat many sweet and starchy meals. Besides discoloring your teeth, this can also give you cavities and inflame your gums. The following are examples of sweet and sticky meals you should stay away from:

  • Hard candy
  • Gummies
  • Caramels
  • Skittles
  • Chewing gum
  • Sweet drinks such as fruit juice, soda, and energy drink

Dentists also discourage patients with braces from eating hard foods since they might damage your braces and loosen your brackets and wires. Examples of some of these foods include:

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Beef jerky
  • Chips
  • ice

On the other hand, if you’re going to eat something healthy, like a piece of fruit, chop it up into smaller pieces so you won’t damage your braces. You don’t necessarily have to avoid eating them so long as you don’t bite straight into them.

Ask Your Orthodontist for Upkeep Advice

Your orthodontist will be the most knowledgeable person about appropriate braces maintenance. They will show you how to properly brush and floss daily and give you advice on how to avoid dental issues. The orthodontist will also undergo emergency procedures in case of a broken bracket or discomfort while wearing braces. They will also advise you on what to eat and what to leave off your diet.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning and caring for a brace can be time-consuming. Nonetheless, you will ultimately gain the fruits of your labor when the time comes to remove them. To keep your teeth and braces in good shape, you can use the advice given above as a reference. Consistency is vital so that they can become a habit. As a result, you won’t have as much trouble carrying them out.

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About the Author: John Lucas