If your child has gotten their braces attached recently or you personally have braces, it’s essential that you know how to care for your new orthodontic treatment. A standard oral hygiene practice is vastly different from caring for braces, containing many tiny spaces in which food can become stuck, resulting in plaque and various dental issues. Additionally, braces do not come cheap. According to the National Orthodontic Association, braces cost roughly $5,000 on average in the United States. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to care for them to have a beautiful, appealing smile after treatment. Below are some tips on how to care for your braces:
Clean the Brackets and Wires
When it comes to brushing, orthodontists recommend that no stone be left unturned – or, more properly, no tooth should be left unclean! It’s time to focus on each wire and bracket once you’ve applied your selected toothpaste to the brush. Brush each surface softly and carefully to remove any lingering food debris, build-up, or plaque – apply sufficient pressure to ensure they’re clean but not so much that they’re damaged.
Perfect Your Brushing Technique
When you have braces on your teeth, keeping them clean is critical. You’ll need a brushing method that can reach all particles to do so effectively. Orthodontists recommend the two-by-two method: brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Begin on the top and move the toothbrush over each tooth in a gentle circular motion for two minutes. Make careful to slide the brush below the wires to remove any plaque or debris. After completing all of the top teeth, move on to the bottom teeth and repeat.
Flossing with braces might be difficult, but it’s an important part of a dental hygiene regimen that shouldn’t be overlooked. Flossing aids in the removal of plaque build-up as well as any tiny food particles between your teeth. If flossing with flossing tape is too difficult, try floss threaders or interdental brushes. These are available at local stores or pharmacies and can assist you in maneuvering around your brackets.
Watch Your Diet
While receiving orthodontic treatment, it’s best to avoid any foods your orthodontists designate as off-limits. The list will likely include everything chewy, sticky, crunchy, or hard. Excessive snacking should be avoided, and a healthy and balanced diet should be the goal. Popcorn (the hard kernels can harm braces), fibrous vegetables, chewy foods like bagels, and crunchy snacks like corn chips are all foods to avoid when wearing braces.
If you’ve got braces currently attached, following the above tips will help you attain a healthy smile at the end of your orthodontic treatment. Do you need the services of an orthodontist? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us now.