How to care for your braces?

girl with braces during orthodontic treatment

Braces treatment fulfills your dream of a straight and aligned smile. But are you aware of the braces care required during the ongoing treatment? You need to put a considerable amount of work into your oral hygiene with braces while they take care of your misaligned teeth.

This post takes you through various aspects of taking care of braces which are beneficial for you to know if you are on braces treatment or thinking of getting it.

Why is it Important to Take Good Care of Your Braces?

The food debris gets caught in the tiny spaces in the braces. They are not easy to clean, leading to plaque, cavities, yellow teeth, tooth decay, etc. This is the last thing you need while already coping with your braces treatment. If you are not committed enough to work on your part, you may face the consequences.

But one reassuring fact is that you will get used to all the precautions and braces aftercare as your treatment progresses. And it will not seem like a lot of work at that time.

How to Take Care of Braces?

Follow these tips of braces care to ensure that your treatment gets completed with minimum discomfort:-

  • Keep Your Mouth Healthy & Brush Teeth Properly

    A simple task like brushing your teeth gets tricky with braces. You can’t be harsh on teeth; otherwise, you may break or dislodge brackets. Simultaneously, you also need to put some pressure to ensure no food residue is left.

    Thus a toothbrush with softer bristles is required. Rinse properly before brushing. Cover all the teeth in your mouth. The angle of your brush should be targeted to eradicate every single food particle.

    The oral health products you use with braces must be capable of eliminating bacteria and cavities. Thus, choosing the proper toothpaste, floss, and mouth wash is vital. Your dentist is the best person to recommend the best toothpaste and mouth wash for you.

  • Floss Regularly to Remove Food and Beverage Debris

    Did you know that between brush and floss, flossing removes 40% of plaque? Floss reaches where a brush can’t reach. Thus it is important to floss after every meal. You might be thinking, how can you floss with braces? You can use a floss threader while on braces.

  • Use an Oral Irrigator to Clean Your Teeth and Braces

    Brushing and flossing do remove the bacteria. But it would help if you do additional cleaning. An oral irrigator is a device that cleans the tiniest particle of food residues and plaque from your mouth.

    There is a small water tank within an oral irrigator. Water gets pumped out of that tank with a small wand. The wand dislodges the plaque with the help of moderate pressure from the water.

    This process cleans your gums, braces, and teeth deeply. Maintaining this thorough level of oral hygiene with braces is non-negotiable. Your dentist may suggest how often a week you should use an oral irrigator.

  • Choose Your Diet Carefully & Include Soft Foods

    Your orthodontist will give you a list of dos and don’ts of your diet. Follow those guidelines diligently. The most common instruction for diet while on braces is to eat soft food. At the same time, avoid hard and sticky foods.

    For example consuming nuts, hard fruits, fibrous veggies, popcorn, etc., is a big no. You can be friends with yogurt, bananas, soups, ice cream, and other soft foods.

How to Maintain Oral Hygiene with Braces?

Brushing and flossing are tricky with braces. But once you know how to clean your teeth and braces, it will be a cakewalk. Let’s break down the process of maintaining oral hygiene with braces in steps for you.

Brushing With Braces

Here is the Step-by-step routine of brushing with braces:-

  • Remove the removable parts of the braces like elastics and bands.
  • Clean wires and pins.
  • Brush top to bottom and around upper and lower teeth.
  • Do this process for 2 minutes.
  • Rinse properly and check in the mirror for any remaining food particles.

Flossing With Braces

This is how you floss with braces!

  • Use waxed floss and thread specially designed for braces care. 18 inches of floss should do the job for you.
  • First, carefully take the floss threader under the wires before taking it between 2 teeth.
  • Re-thread the floss again in the primary wire before passing it between the next pair of teeth.
  • Be careful not to snap. Move it up and down gently.

Bonus Tips to Get Your Braces Off Faster

Yes! You can reduce the duration of your treatment by being diligent about oral hygiene. The opposite can prolong your braces treatment. Follow these oral hygiene tips with braces to get rid of them sooner:-

  • Don’t Miss any Appointments With Your Orthodontist

    Your orthodontist will provide you with a timeline of your check-ups. Don’t skip those due dates. It is vital to check the progress of your treatment. They can prevent any other dental health problem from aggravating. They can check for loose braces, and if any crooked teeth, treatment is required.

  • Chew Only on Food & Not Other Hard Stuff

    If you are habitual of chewing various hard stuff like ice cubes, pens, pencils, or your nails, this can cause damage to braces and push your teeth out of line. As a result, your treatment time will prolong. And certainly don’t use your mouth as a bottle opener!

  • Keep Your Tongue Clean

    A clean tongue encourages fresh breath. Thus it is advisable to clean your tongue regularly. Apart from getting rid of stinky breath, tongue cleaning helps you remove bacteria sitting in your mouth. It is essential to keep your tongue extra clean because bacteria should be removed from your mouth before they get caught inside your braces brackets.

  • Quit Smoking

    Apart from damaging your lungs, smoking robs your mouth of your saliva. Bacteria and cavities stuck to the surface of your teeth for longer in the absence of saliva. Quit smoking for your overall health, including dental health.

  • Don’t Be Lazy in Wearing Retainers

    Retainers are one of the most critical braces aftercare. It keeps the straightened teeth after braces in their place. Otherwise, they can move back or shift back and again spoil the alignment. It is natural for teeth to return to their original position during the first 6 months of braces treatment.

    To prevent this relapse, you must wear a retainer for 6 months as braces aftercare. Do this diligently so that you don’t need to go to the dental clinic again.

Conclusion

You expect your bite problems to be resolved after wearing the braces for the prescribed time. But merely wearing the braces is not enough. You need to follow your dentist’s instructions to the T.

Your orthodontist will advise you to eat the correct diet and attend regular dental check-ups. They may prescribe pain relief medicines and oral hygiene routines as well.

One of the non-negotiable braces care is to visit your orthodontist regularly according to their instructions. They can check for the treatment’s progress and if any underlying dental health issue is cropping up. Also, if your braces get damaged or broken, you should immediately contact your orthodontist.

We are a trusted orthodontic service provider in New York. Contact us today for a free consultation and get your teeth straightened out for a healthier smile.

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Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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