Caring for Your Braces
You've got your braces. Now what? Well, you've got to maintain and care for them. What does that mean? It means a few things. First, it's brushing and flossing.
When brushing with braces:
- Rinse with water before you brush to help dislodge any food from the braces
- Brush at a 45° angle at the gumline with a brush made for braces
- Then brush on top of the brackets going down
- Follow that by brushing the bottom bracket and wire going up
- Get every tooth at the gumline, as well as above and below the brackets, to remove all plaque and food debris
When flossing with braces:
- Give a floss threader a try to make it an easier experience
- You could also opt for a water irrigator to aid in rinsing out food particles in between teeth
- After brushing and flossing, rinse with mouthwash to prevent cavities and remove bacteria
Besides oral care, your diet is a significant factor in caring for your braces. What foods you eat and don't eat will greatly impact how clean and effective your braces can be for you. When it comes to food, it's easier to remember what not to consume. That list includes:
These food types can all get stuck in your braces very easily. It's also smart to avoid high sugar items that can lead to plaque build-up and tooth decay.
That's your quick guide on preparing for braces, procedure expectations, and caring for them. Regular visits to your dentist and orthodontist are a must as well. It's possible a retainer may be necessary after your braces. Either way, your oral health team should be able to address any other questions or concerns you may have. Remember, the more information you have going in, the more prepared you'll be for your braces to give you a happy and healthy smile.