There is more to caring for braces than excellent dental care routines and regular oral hygiene. Today, our Langley orthodontists share some instructions to help you care for your braces.
You can help keep your gums, teeth, and braces from getting damaged by taking good care of them. It can also help keep your orthodontic treatment on track and prevent delays.
There are lots of tiny crevices and spaces on braces that have to be cleaned carefully in order to prevent the buildup of plaque bacteria around them. You can take these steps to brush and floss your braces and teeth effectively.
Prepare to brush. Remove the elastics and any other removable components of your braces.
Brush your braces. Holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, brush around the wires and pins of your braces. Brush from the top of every wire to the bottom. Move from tooth to tooth methodically to make sure you brush away all of the debris and plaque.
Brush your teeth. Brush your teeth one at a time. Begin by placing your brush at a 45-degree angle on the gum line, and then brush in a circular motion, applying gentle pressure. Dedicate about 10 seconds per tooth, and brush all the outer and inner tooth surfaces of each one. To help make this process easier you can use an electric toothbrush with a round, rotating head.
Floss daily. Thread the floss between the main wire and your teeth. Gently press the floss between the first two teeth, and slide it up and down along the side of one tooth, and then the other. Gently remove the floss, unthread it from behind the wire, and then repeat the process between the next pair of teeth.
Rinse and check your teeth. When you are done brushing and flossing, rinse thoroughly with mouthwash or water, and in the mirror examine your teeth and braces to be sure you didn't miss anything.
There are several dietary adjustments you will have to make in order to keep your braces from getting damaged. The general rule of thumb is that any soft, non-sticky foods are safe to eat with braces, while hard, chewy, or crunchy foods should be avoided. We have listed some samples below:
Foods You Can Eat With Braces:
- Fruit – soft fruits, hard fruits cut into small pieces, applesauce, fruit juice, smoothies, berries
- Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, beans
- Bread & Grains – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins, pasta, rice
- Eggs – cooked however you like
- Meats/poultry – tender cooked meats, meatballs, lunch meats, etc.
- Dairy – yogurt, soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Treats – ice cream, milkshakes, Jell-O, plain soft chocolates, peanut butter cups, brownies, soft cookies.
Avoid These Foods With Braces:
- Foods that require biting into – apples, corn on the cob, carrots, ribs, and chicken wings
- Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum, gummy candies
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice, hard candies, thick pretzels
- Hard foods – nuts, uncooked carrots, toffee
- Chewy foods – bagels, licorice, pizza crust, French bread
Attend Routine Orthodontic Appointments
Throughout your time with braces, you will have to see your orthodontist regularly so they can tighten and adjust your braces. This helps ensure your braces will keep doing their job properly. It also provides your orthodontist with the opportunity to evaluate your progress and make sure there aren't any problems.
Attend Dental Appointments Regularly
You will also have to keep visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups, as you usually would. Professional cleanings and checkups are essential for oral health because even the most rigorous brushing and flossing routine cannot remove hardened tartar. In addition, your dentist will be able to monitor your oral health, and ensure there are no cavities or other problems developing.