Getting braces is an exciting step and a great way to improve your smile, but it’s important to know that it can take a little extra time and effort to care for your teeth while you have braces. Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout the duration of your orthodontic treatment is crucial, though, because it can help prevent damage to your teeth and braces and ensure that you see your best end result. Taking proper care of your braces may also help prevent unnecessary delays that could prolong your orthodontic treatment. If you’re wondering how to care for your braces, here are some ways that you can care for them, and tools that might make things easier.
Caring for your teeth with braces is a lot like caring for your teeth before braces, except that braces add a lot of new surfaces to clean. The addition of braces also means the addition of many tiny new places where plaque can accumulate or food can become stuck which can lead to tooth decay. It’s important to focus extra attention on these new and sometimes difficult areas in order to avoid permanent staining or other serious problems in your future.
Brush, Floss and Mouthwash
Just like without braces, the basics of how to care for your braces is to brush 3 times a day or after each meal, floss and use mouthwash daily. The tools you may need to use, however, might change.
Your dentist may provide you with a special brush with bristles that are indented to better fit around your braces and reach the surfaces of your teeth when you brush. Or you might want to try an electric toothbrush to help with dislodging food or plaque that may hide in the hard to reach crevices between your teeth and around your new braces. Make sure to check with your dentist to ensure that whichever toothbrush you choose is safe for use with your braces and any other orthodontic appliances you might have.
It may also be helpful to use a small tool called a threader for your floss to help you more easily thread the floss under your braces and in between your teeth. You may also find floss with a built in threader at one end of each pre-cut strand or a dental pick which looks like a small pointed brush that can reach small places that a regular-sized toothbrush can not.
Choose Foods That Are Safe
When talking about how to care for your braces, it’s also important to consider what you eat because certain foods can potentially damage your braces which can require an extra visit for repair and prolonged treatment times. Foods to avoid include sticky, crunchy or chewy foods, especially if you need to bite into them like corn on the cob or whole fruit.
Call if You Need Help!
It might sound complicated and difficult to learn how to care for your braces, but don’t feel discouraged. You’ll soon get the hang of it, and it will be well worth your effort when you get them off and see the finished result! And remember, you can always call your orthodontist to ask questions or make an appointment and ask your orthodontist to demonstrate how to care for your braces if you’re unsure of something. Your orthodontist is here for you to help you achieve your best and healthiest smile!
Call our Joseph LaPonzina Orthodontics Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.