Wearing braces is a great way to achieve a straighter smile and improve your oral health. However, it’s important to take extra care of your teeth during this time to prevent damage to your braces and ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy.
Tips on How to care for your teeth while wearing braces
Brushing your teeth is always important, but it’s even more crucial when you have braces. Aim to brush at least twice a day, or after every meal if possible. Use a soft-bristled brush and brush gently, paying special attention to the area around your brackets and wires.
Start by brushing the outer surfaces of your teeth, then move to the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces. Be sure to brush your tongue as well to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Flossing can be a bit more challenging with braces, but it’s still important to do. Use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to get between your teeth and under your wires.
Gently slide the floss up and down, being careful not to put too much pressure on your brackets or wires. Take your time and be thorough to ensure you remove all the food particles and debris from your teeth.
Avoid hard, sticky, and sugary foods
Hard and sticky foods can damage your braces, and sugary foods can lead to tooth decay. Avoid foods like popcorn, hard candy, and chewing gum. Instead, choose soft, easy-to-chew foods like cooked vegetables, yogurt, and soft fruits.
If you do eat something sticky or hard, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward to help remove any particles that may be stuck to your braces.
Wear a mouthguard
If you play sports or participate in other physical activities, wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and braces. A mouthguard can help absorb shock and prevent injury to your teeth and gums. You can get a custom-fit mouthguard from your orthodontist or purchase a boil-and-bite mouthguard from a sporting goods store.
Visit your orthodontist regularly
Regular check-ups with your orthodontist can help ensure your braces are working properly and detect any issues early on. Your orthodontist will adjust your wires and brackets as needed to keep your teeth moving in the right direction. They may also recommend additional treatments like rubber bands or headgear to help correct your bite.
Consider using a Waterpik
A Waterpik can help flush out food particles and debris from between your teeth and braces, making it easier to keep your teeth clean. A Waterpik is a handheld device that uses a stream of water to clean between your teeth and gums. You can use it in conjunction with your regular brushing and flossing routine for added cleaning power.
Use orthodontic wax
If your brackets or wires are causing irritation or discomfort, use orthodontic wax to create a barrier between them and your gums and cheeks. Orthodontic wax is a soft, pliable wax that you can mold around your braces to help prevent irritation. Simply pinch off a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball, then place it over the bracket or wire that’s causing the irritation.
By following these tips and practicing good oral hygiene, you can ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy while wearing braces. Remember, proper care and maintenance of your braces can help ensure your orthodontic treatment is successful and you achieve the beautiful, straight smile you’ve always wanted.
If you have any questions or concerns about caring for your teeth while wearing braces, don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist for advice. They are there to help you throughout your treatment and can provide you with additional tips and tricks to make caring for your teeth and braces easier.
Some additional tips to keep in mind:
- Be patient: Orthodontic treatment can take several months or even years to complete, so be patient and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away.
- Don’t skip appointments: Regular check-ups with your orthodontist are essential for the success of your treatment. Make sure you attend all your appointments and follow their instructions carefully.
- Keep your braces clean: Clean braces work better and can help prevent tooth decay and other oral health issues. Take the time to clean your braces properly, and don’t forget to clean your retainer or other orthodontic appliances as well.
- Take care of your gums: Braces can make it more difficult to clean your gums, so be sure to pay extra attention to your gum line when brushing and flossing. You may want to use an antimicrobial mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Don’t chew on hard objects: Chewing on pens, pencils, or other hard objects can damage your braces and even break your teeth. Stick to soft foods and avoid chewing on anything that’s not food.
In conclusion, caring for your teeth while wearing braces requires a bit of extra effort and attention to detail. By following these tips and practicing good oral hygiene, you can ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.
Remember, your braces are an investment in your oral health and your future smile, so take care of them and enjoy the benefits of a straight, healthy smile for years to come.