If you’re looking to improve your smile and overall oral health, braces are an important tool in your dental arsenal. They are used to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. Braces can be expensive so it makes sense to protect your investment by taking good care of them.
Orthodontists like Edwards and Garrett Orthodontists have a lot of varieties of braces to choose from, but they all have to be maintained to work well. Proper maintenance ensures that braces work efficiently and helps maintain good oral hygiene. In this article, we will go over several tips to help you take better care of your braces.
1 – Daily care
Taking care of braces daily is key to your oral health. You already know that brushing every day is important, but it is a challenge when you have braces. It’s essential to brush after every meal to remove food particles that can get stuck in your braces. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that can clean gently around your braces.
You can make your life easier by getting a special brush designed for people with braces. The orthodontic brush has V-shaped bristles and is designed to fit around the wires and brackets.
Flossing is another crucial part of your oral care routine. With braces, it might take more time, but it’s essential for preventing gum disease and tooth decay. Using mouthwash is a great final step in your daily oral care routine. It can reach places in your mouth that brushing and flossing might miss.
2 – Foods to avoid
When you have braces, paying attention to what you eat is very important. Certain foods can damage your braces or increase the risk of dental problems. The main types of food to avoid are hard, sticky, and sugary foods.
Hard foods can break or damage the wires and brackets of your braces. These include foods like nuts, hard candies, and popcorn kernels. Even biting into hard fruits like apples or raw carrots can also cause damage, so it’s better to cut them into small, bite-sized pieces.
Sticky foods are another concern. They can get caught in your braces and are difficult to clean off, which increases the risk of tooth decay. Avoid foods like caramel, chewing gum, and sticky candies. These can pull at and dislodge the wires and brackets.
3 – Dealing with discomfort
Wearing braces often involves some level of discomfort. This discomfort is normal and usually fades within a few days. For the first few days, you can do things like rinse your mouth with warm and salty water to alleviate some swelling.
Despite your best efforts, issues like loose wires or broken brackets can occur. If a wire comes loose and starts poking your cheek or gums, you can use a clean pencil eraser or a Q-tip to gently push the wire back into place. In case of a broken bracket, if it’s still attached to the wire, leave it in place and cover it with wax if needed.