Taking care of your braces consists of more than just implementing an excellent oral hygiene routine. Here, our Burnaby orthodontists list instructions to help you take care of your braces.
You can help keep your gums, teeth, and braces from getting damaged by taking good care of them. It can also help your orthodontic treatment stay on track and prevent delays.
Implementing a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
Braces have lots of tiny crevices and spaces that need to be cleaned carefully in order to prevent plaque bacteria from building up 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. Here are some examples:
Foods You Can Eat During Braces Treatment:
- Eggs – cooked however you like
- Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, beans
- Dairy – yogurt, soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Bread & Grains – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins, pasta, rice
- Meats/poultry – tender cooked meats, meatballs, lunch meats, etc.
- Treats – ice cream, milkshakes, Jell-O, plain soft chocolates, peanut butter cups, brownies, soft cookies.
- Fruit – soft fruits, hard fruits cut into small pieces, applesauce, fruit juice, smoothies, berries
Foods You Have to Avoid With Braces:
- Chewy foods – bagels, licorice, pizza crust, French bread
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice, hard candies, thick pretzels
- Foods that require biting into – apples, corn on the cob, carrots, ribs, and chicken wings
- Hard foods – nuts, uncooked carrots, toffee
- Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum, gummy candies
Regularly Attend Orthodontic Appointments
During your braces treatment, 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 chance to evaluate your progress and make sure there aren't any problems.
Attend Routine Dental Appointments
You will need to keep visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Professional cleanings and checkups are essential for your oral health because even the most rigorous brushing and flossing routine can't remove hardened tartar. In addition to this, your dentist will be able to keep an eye on your oral health, to make sure there are no cavities or other issues developing.