Wearing braces is a big commitment, and it’s essential to take care of them properly to ensure your smile stays healthy and looks great. Whether you are new to wearing braces and looking for guidance, or you’ve been wearing them for a while and want to ensure you are doing everything right – these tips may help.
1. Brush Your Teeth and Braces Thoroughly
Cleaning your teeth and gums at least twice a day is an important part of any oral hygiene routine, but it’s particularly imperative when you have braces. Braces may make you more susceptible to plaque and tartar buildup, leading to cavities and gum disease.
How to Floss With Braces
Before brushing your teeth, floss to remove any food particles that may be stuck in your braces. Flossing with braces can be tricky, but with enough practice, it will become second nature.
To floss with braces, you will need to thread the floss under the wire of each brace. Once the floss is through, you can floss between each tooth and under the gumline to remove plaque and debris. Continue to thread the floss through each brace until all of your teeth have been flossed.
Once complete, using a water flosser can help remove any remaining particles that may have been missed. Flossing at least once a day is ideal, but if you can floss more often – even better.
How to Brush Your Braces
Once you have completed flossing, the most tedious part is over, but it’s still important to brush your braces and teeth thoroughly. Before brushing, don’t forget to remove elastics and other removable parts of your braces.
To brush your teeth with braces, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and carefully brush around each wire and bracket. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and use gentle circular motions. Do not brush too hard as this can damage your braces and is bad for your teeth.
2. Watch What You Eat
One of the quickest ways to damage your braces is by eating the wrong foods. Hard, chewy, or sticky foods can all cause damage to your braces and should be avoided.
Foods to avoid with braces include:
- Hard candy
- Beef jerky
While you may have to give up some of your favorite foods, plenty of delicious and braces-friendly options are still available. Some good examples of braces-friendly foods include:
- Soft fruits like bananas, kiwis, and mangoes
- Cooked vegetables
- Soft cheese
- Ice cream
- Mashed potatoes
If you aren’t sure if a food is safe to eat with braces, the best rule of thumb is to err on the side of caution and avoid it. Talk to your orthodontist if you have any questions or concerns about what foods to avoid with braces.
3. Avoid Soft Drinks
Soft drinks are one of the worst beverages you can drink when you have braces. Not only are they loaded with sugar, but the acidity may also damage your braces. Furthermore, drinking sugary or acidic beverages can increase your risk of cavities and stain your teeth.
Try sticking to water as much as possible, but if you do crave something else, opt for 100% fruit juice or a smoothie instead. Using a straw can also help minimize contact between sugary drinks and your teeth.
4. What to Do If Something Breaks
No matter how cautious you are, sometimes accidents happen. If a wire or bracket comes loose, it’s important to see your orthodontist as soon as possible. In the meantime, if a wire is poking you, try using orthodontic wax to cover the sharp end. If a bracket comes off completely, save it and bring it with you to your next appointment.
5. Regularly Visit Your Orthodontist
Regularly visiting your orthodontist is one of the best things you can do to ensure your braces are in good condition and avoid any complications. At each appointment, your orthodontist will adjust your braces and make sure everything is still on track.
Taking care of your braces while maintaining good oral hygiene may take some time to get used to, but our team at ChildSmiles•FamilySmiles is here to help. If you have any questions or concerns regarding orthodontic or dental care, contact ChildSmiles•FamilySmiles today.