Maintain Your Braces
Many people end up needing orthodontic care at some point in their lives. If your dentist has recommended that you see an orthodontist correct a problem like crooked or crowded teeth, you may need braces or Invisalign, a clear set of plastic aligners that can be removed. However, if you get the more traditional option that involves a mouth full of metallic wire, you will have to know how to properly maintain them. Here are a number of helpful tips on maintenance.
Brush Your Teeth to Clean
As soon as you are fitted, you will want to keep up with your regular routine of brushing your teeth. However, now that you have wire covering your teeth, you may want to take it a step further by brushing your teeth after every single meal. This is because food can easily become trapped in the metal in your mouth, leading to a greater risk of the growth of harmful bacteria. Brushing after every single meal and snack can help to loosen the food particles that get stuck in a brace or wire. If you are out when you have a meal and don’t have a toothbrush or toothpaste handy, simply rinse out your mouth with water after eating.
Use the Right Type of Toothbrush
You must use the right type of toothbrush while you are having your teeth straightened. Avoid using one that has hard bristles because it can damage the wire and can be difficult to get to certain areas of the mouth. Opt for a toothbrush with soft bristles that can get around each brace and freely move between the wires. You should always be able to feel the bristles between the wires while brushing your teeth.
Focus on Fluoride
Fluoride is extremely important in fighting against tooth decay and has been proven to even help strengthen the teeth. Use a toothpaste that includes fluoride and drinks plenty of fluoridated water on a daily basis. You may also be instructed to use a mouthwash that includes fluoride.
Flossing in a normal manner is more of a challenge when you have wire in your mouth. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop. Flossing is a practice that is more important than ever while you’re straightening your teeth. It’s easier than ever to get food particles stuck in your teeth, causing the growth of bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease. If you are having a lot of difficulty flossing, speak with your orthodontist about accessories that can make it easier. Most likely, you will be given floss threaders or thicker floss, which makes it easier to get between the wires.
Use Mouthwash Regularly
Using mouthwash is important during this time because it helps to maintain the best oral hygiene. It helps to kill bacteria and can help to loosen away food particles that may have gotten stuck in your wires. It can also help to reduce swelling that can occur from irritation caused by a brace or wire. Mouthwash typically has antibacterial properties that can also help heal nicks and cuts in the mouth faster and fight against the risk of infection.
Avoid Eating Certain Foods
When you use Invisalign as your tooth straightening option, it’s easy to eat whatever you want because you can remove them for eating. However, you don’t have that luxury with regular braces. Certain foods should be avoided during this time to ensure that every brace and wire stays intact. For example, candy and other sugary foods can be a big problem because they can get stuck in the wire when you eat them. As a result, it can increase your risk of developing cavities. You should also avoid gum and caramel because they can pull a brace away from a tooth. Hard foods like nuts can also break wires and should be avoided.
Eat Foods with Low Acidity
There is no need to worry that you won’t have enough to eat while straightening your teeth. Foods that are low in acidity are excellent options. Not only do they taste great and can easily keep you feeling full for a longer time, but they also won’t cause any damage to your teeth or wires. Foods that are low in acidity include bananas, eggs, potatoes, yogurt, milk, seafood, and vegetables.
Follow Special Care Instructions
Finally, it’s important to follow all the instructions your orthodontist gives you regarding special care, such as placing rubber bands on your braces at certain points in time. The instructions are personalized to your needs and should help you to see results you expect while your teeth continue to straighten.
When you follow all of these tips, you will find that your mouth is its healthiest. It will also ensure that you are that much closer to beautifully straight teeth. For more information, contact McDermott Orthodontics.
How to Maintain Your Braces
13046 Falcon Drive
Baxter, MN 56425
Dr. Mike McDermott is an orthodontic specialist in Brainerd, Baxter and Delano MN.