How to Care For Your Teeth When You Have Braces
Getting braces is the first step towards improving your teeth. They can straighten your teeth and improve your bite, and assist in treating any bite related jaw pain. After treatment is complete, having aligned teeth can reduce plaque build-up and subsequently reduce your risk of tooth decay and gingivitis. To ensure optimal results, you’ll need to look after your teeth while you have the braces on.
But, how do you care for teeth with braces?
Brushing Your Teeth
Ordinarily, we would recommend you brush your teeth twice a day, but when you have braces your oral hygiene routine will be a little more hands-on.
Aim to clean your teeth after each snack or meal. This is important because it’s very easy for food particles to get trapped in your braces, which can increase your risk of developing extra dental issues in the long run. Brush your teeth with a round bristle toothbrush or an electric toothbrush.
Before you brush your teeth, rinse your mouth with water to loosen any food that has gotten stuck in and around your braces. When you start to brush, brush each tooth at a 45-degree angle at the gum line. Then, clean the brackets of your braces by brushing at a downward angle on top of the brackets, followed by an upward angle at the bottom of the braces.
Extra Dental Care
Brushing your teeth regularly is important, but dental hygiene, especially when you have braces, doesn’t end there!
You’ll also need to floss at least once a day, making sure you floss between the braces, as well as under the wires. To make this task a little easier, use a floss threader, interdental brushes or an orthodontic flosser.
An oral irrigator could also come in handy, especially when trying to clean hard-to-reach places. Essentially, an oral irrigator creates a stream of pulsating water that can remove plaque and food debris, leaving your teeth and braces feeling squeaky-clean!
Avoid Certain Foods
We all know that certain food and drink can stain our teeth, like coffee, or rot our teeth, like lollies, but can food also have an impact on braces?
The answer is a resounding yes! Certain foods are particularly susceptible to getting stuck in braces and damaging wires, which makes cleaning your teeth more difficult.
Try to avoid sticky or chewy food, like dried fruit or caramel, hard food, such as nuts and beef jerky and crunchy foods, like apples and carrots. But keep in mind that you can still eat crunchy foods like raw vegetables and fruit; just make sure you cut them into bite size pieces first.
People sometimes experience ulcerations when they first get their braces, or when their braces are damaged. If this happens to you, protect your mouth by applying a special wax on them. This can be purchased from your Adelaide dentist or orthodontist, as well as some stores.
As you can see, there’s a little more involved in looking after your teeth when you have braces. But your efforts will be rewarded when you get your braces off and are met with a beautiful and healthy straight smile!
As a cosmetic and general dentist in Adelaide, Advanced Dental Centre can assist with all your dental needs. Contact our friendly team today to learn more about our services.
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