Having braces comes with a lot of responsibility when it comes to properly take care of them and, by extension, your teeth. Now more than ever, having good oral hygiene is important to keep your teeth healthy, disease and pain-free. If you’ve just got a set of braces implanted, or are about to, then here are a few tips for taking care of them.
Plaque, food particles and bacteria are easily trapped in the metal frames of the braces and teeth. This means that, because of the barrier now present, flossing and brushing requires a bit more finesse then what you may be used too. When brushing with braces, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the wire and pins that make up your braces. Do this at least twice a day, or after every meal as dental professionals recommend. Removing food debris may pull on the braces, causing them to detach from the tooth, so be careful.
Flossing is a must when you have braces, as so much can get stuck in your teeth that a toothbrush won’t be able to reach. Floss once a day to ensure a healthy mouth and remove built-up plaque and food. There are many options in terms of flossing tools that work between the wires of your braces. Flossing tape and threaders are available in pharmacies or supplied by your orthodontist or dentist to make the process easier.
Foods to Avoid
Certain foods need to be avoided completely to protect the integrity of your braces from damage or detachment. Foods like popcorn, chewing gum, nuts, sticky candies, tough meats and hard foods like the whole, raw fruits and vegetables, can get stuck in your braces, cause soreness in your gums and jawline, or ruin the structure entirely.
Dark coloured beverages like coffee, tea, wine and so on will leave stains on the visible tooth surface if not properly removed through brushing. Because part of your tooth is covered by the brace, that section will not be affected by staining, which will cause discolouration across the tooth once the braces are removed. Either avoid these drinks entirely or brush your teeth after consuming them.
If you’re a nail biter or make a habit of chewing on pencils and other hard materials, you’ll need to stop, as this too can damage your braces.
Regular Orthodontist Visits
You can discuss any problems you may be having or any future concerns during an orthodontic visit. This is also where your orthodontist should properly clean your teeth and adjust your braces. You’ll probably feel a tightness in your mouth or pain in your teeth after an adjustment. This is normal, as your teeth are being pulled unnaturally. The pain shouldn’t last for more than a day or two, but if it gets worse or lasts for a while, contact your orthodontist.
Regular check-ups with your orthodontist don’t replace visiting your dentist. Regular check-ups are necessary to make sure you haven't developed any cavities or show signs of gum disease.
At Vancity Dental, our highly experienced staff dedicated to making you comfortable and relaxing during your visit. Located in Vancouver, BC, we provide treatment plans that are customized specifically for you. With services that include general cleaning, whitening, cosmetic and restorative dentistry, Invisalign, dental implants and more, call or go online to book your appointment.