Having braces is a big responsibility. It’s not simply something that’s put on your teeth, and you let be for a few years. You’re going to have to take care of your braces just as much as it takes care of your teeth. While your dentist is very likely to tell you what steps you can take to maintain your braces, having a little refresher course wouldn’t hurt.
Braces are worn for 3-6 years on average. A lot of things can go wrong during that time. Aside from having to pay for costly appointments and bracket replacements, you also have to be worried about your dental health too. Here are some important maintenance tips to keep your braces in perfect condition.
The Basics Of Brushing
Brushing your teeth while you have braces is more complex says our dental experts from Smileville. You need to consider that with the wires and the brackets installed, there are a lot of places that food particles can get stuck in. Whatever care you have for your teeth before, you double and even triple that while on braces.
Before you begin brushing, make sure to take off all removable parts such as elastics first. This will make it easier for you to clean.
Once done, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle. This will allow you to reach the deeper crevices of your braces. Brush from the top of each bracket down to the bottom. Take your time and gently brush off any debris. It would help if you use a toothbrush with a soft bristle for that extra flexibility.
The best motion for brushing your braces and teeth would be an outwards stroke. If you are brushing at the top of the bracket, brush down and then outward. If you’re at the bottom of the bracket, brush up and then outward.
Flossing is also an important part of brace maintenance. You won’t be able to clean your teeth with regular floss. Buy a floss that’s specifically designed for braces and orthodontic work.
Investing in the right floss and toothbrush is important for brace maintenance. There are some products that are specifically designed for people with braces. It can make home cleaning easier and more effective on your end so make sure to check out what these products are.
After brushing and flossing your teeth, make sure you rinse your teeth as properly as possible. Swirl the water around your mouth and each corner for at least a minute. Some dentists might recommend non-alcohol contained mouth rinses.
Never Miss An Appointment
Once you have your braces installed, you’re going to see the dentists more regularly (approximately every 4-6 weeks), aside from regular cleaning.
One of the last things you’d want to do is miss out on an appointment. Not only does it prevent the dentist from checking out the status of your braces, it can also impede the progress behind your teeth as well.
Your dentist will schedule your visits for you. However, you can call the practice to schedule an appointment if things like a loose bracket or discomfort are bothering you.
Watch What You Eat
Overall, there’s not much that braces prevent you from eating. As long as you eat properly and slowly, you won’t have any issues with the brackets on your teeth.
However, there are still some foods that you’d want to eat with caution. For instance, when eating steak, make sure to take in small and thin cuts of meat only. You’d want to avoid chewing on food that can be tough. Here are some items you’d want to avoid:
- Hard crackers
- Candy (hard, chewy, gum)
- Crunchy vegetables and fruits.
- Sticky food (e.g. toffee)
Ideally, it’s also best to avoid food that’s high in sugar. Sugar can mix in with your saliva to form plaque. As you have braces on, it will be much harder for you to get rid of the plaque while brushing your teeth.
If you’re having a tough time cleaning, then it’s best to avoid food that can be hard to clean off of your mouth as well.
It’s also important that you remove your elastic band when you’re eating. It’s highly recommended that you bring a toothbrush and some toothpaste with you when you’re headed out to eat. It’s vital that you clean your teeth after every meal to avoid any plaque buildup.
Braces might be hard to maintain but it’s worth all the effort in the end. It’s not just your braces that you’re going to take care of, you’re going to be taking care of your teeth in the process as well. What you get in the end is a perfectly aligned set of pearly whites that can help boost your confidence greatly.