Braces are a significant investment in achieving a straighter and healthier smile. Proper care and maintenance are crucial throughout your orthodontic journey to ensure successful treatment and a stunning outcome. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best ways to care for them, helping you maintain optimal oral health and a beautiful smile.
Follow these care tips:
- Brush your teeth after every meal with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss every day with a floss threader or interdental brush.
- Avoid hard and sticky foods, which might damage braces.
- Schedule routine orthodontic visits.
- Apply orthodontic wax to relieve pain.
Let’s take a deeper look.
How Often Should I Brush My Teeth with Braces?
When wearing braces, it is essential to maintain a thorough and consistent oral hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth after each meal and snack is advised to eliminate food particles and plaque that may become lodged around the brackets and wires.
Brush each tooth carefully at various angles using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque from all surfaces. Additionally, pay extra attention to the gum line and areas around the braces.
Furthermore, replacing your toothbrush regularly, at least every three to four months, and sooner if the bristles get frayed is critical.
Are There Specific Flossing Methods for People Wearing Braces?
Although flossing can be a little more complicated when wearing braces, avoiding plaque development and maintaining healthy gums are essential. Traditional flossing can be challenging due to the presence of wires, but there are other techniques available.
Furthermore, one successful method is using a floss threader, which guides the floss beneath the wires. Another choice is to use a floss pick with a small, flexible tip that can easily fit between the braces.
In order to remove food particles and bacteria, water flossers and oral irrigators might also be helpful. Whatever method you choose, floss every day between each tooth and along the gum line.
What Foods Should I Avoid While Wearing Braces?
It’s crucial to avoid certain foods that can harm or become stuck in your braces, causing irritation and potential problems.
For example, nuts, popcorn, and other hard, crunchy foods should be avoided since they can break or loosen brackets and wires. Foods that are sticky and chewy, such as caramel, gum, and taffy, can also get stuck in them and be challenging to clean properly.
Furthermore, biting into whole fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots might be unsafe. Before eating them, it’s better to cut them into manageable pieces. Finally, avoid items that need a lot of force to bite, such as corn on the cob or large portions of meat.
How Do I Relieve Pain or Discomfort from Wearing Braces?
Feeling a little uncomfortable or sore after getting braces or adjusting them is normal. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are two over-the-counter painkillers that may be useful in easing the discomfort. Another temporary solution is to rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
Applying orthodontic wax to any irritating protruding wires or brackets can help form a protective barrier. Moreover, if the soreness worsens or lingers, you should speak with your orthodontist for more guidance.
Are There Additional Care Tips for Braces?
Yes, here are some additional care recommendations for braces:
Attend Regular Orthodontic Appointments
Attending all your scheduled orthodontic checkups and adjustments is crucial. Your orthodontist will keep track of your development and make any required adjustments.
Prevent Mouth Injuries When Participating in Physical Activities
If you play sports or engage in other physical activities where mouth injuries are possible, wearing a mouth guard can help protect your braces and teeth.
Avoid Harmful Oral Habits
Avoid chewing on pens, pencils, or other objects, as well as biting your nails. These habits might harm your braces and lengthen your treatment duration.
Maintain a Nutritious Diet and Stay Hydrated
Drinking lots of water keeps your mouth hydrated and removes food residue. In addition, consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and calcium promotes oral health.