Braces are a tried and true way to get a straighter, more beautiful smile. You may even see differences in your speech, chewing, and biting functions as well! However, it’s important to take good care of your braces to protect your teeth and gums from plaque buildup, as this can lead to decay and gum disease. You also need to make sure you protect your metal brackets and wires to ensure your orthodontic treatment is successful. Here are three easy steps you can take to protect your braces and keep your teeth clean.
Step 1: Learn the best brushing technique.
You’ll find that you will need to brush more often once braces are on your teeth. In fact, we would recommend brushing after each time you eat—including snacks. Otherwise, food particles will easily get stuck in your braces and cause the bacteria in plaque to release harmful acids on the surface of your teeth. This can lead to tooth damage, decay, and gum disease. To ensure you keep your braces and teeth clean, you will need to adjust your normal brushing routine slightly. To prevent damage from plaque and food particles, practice these easy brushing techniques:
- First, swish water in your mouth to dislodge food particles from your teeth, brackets, and wires.
- Next, brush each tooth individually above the brackets, below the brackets, and along the gumline.
- Finally, clean the metal brackets themselves, brushing on top and bottom of each bracket. Then, rinse!
- By doing so, you’ll keep your teeth, gums, and metal braces in excellent condition.
Step 2: Floss regularly.
Brushing your teeth is not enough to remove all of the plaque and food particles—particularly when you have braces. To make sure you’re flossing thoroughly, be sure to do so after every meal. Flossing with braces requires that you follow these simple steps:
- Take wax floss and thread it between your teeth and the wire.
- Then, slide the floss between your teeth and gums.
- Carefully remove the floss and repeat with each tooth.
To make this process easier, you might consider purchasing a floss threader, which will help you to insert the floss between the wire and your teeth.
Step 3: Avoid eating foods that can harm your braces.
Certain foods can damage your brackets, leading to longer treatment times and sometimes even causing harm to your teeth. It is important that, for the duration of your orthodontic treatment, you avoid sticky or crunchy foods such as hard candies, toffee, corn on the cob, chewing gum, etc. Some foods, like carrots and apples, can be chopped up to avoid causing damage. However, if you’re uncertain if a food can be harmful, it is best to avoid it!
Are you ready to get a beautiful new smile? Braces could be the solution you’re looking for. Call Meadows Dental Care in Palatine today to schedule your orthodontic consultation!