Taking Care of Your Braces
Adapting to braces takes time, and part of this process requires adapting oral habits to care for your teeth and braces. These habits protect your smile from dental issues and help keep your teeth bright. Good oral home care is essential to successful braces treatment, ensuring your smile is uniform and beautiful when they are taken off. Patients of all ages should consider the many facets of braces care, and how they can enhance their habits to support better oral hygiene.
Brushing and Flossing
The backbone of any healthy smile is consistent brushing and flossing. With braces, it’s key to brush for two minutes at a time, and gently as to not impact the wires. Unfortunately, braces easily trap food, so it is best if teeth are brushed after eating a meal or snack. Although this can be an annoying task, this quick hygiene check can protect your smile from gingivitis, cavities, and bad breath. The proxabrush, a Christmas-tree shaped toothbrush, can fit underneath wires and clean around brackets. This helpful tool allows for gentle food removal in hard-to-reach areas. When brushing regularly, be sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
While flossing is more challenging with braces, it remains an important part of your care regimen. To clean between teeth properly, slide one end of the floss beneath the wire, and then use your other hand to push it between teeth. Gently swipe the floss between teeth to eliminate food particles. A Waterpik® offers similar flossing benefits by shooting water between teeth. Flossing will prevent the spread of tooth decay, keep gums healthy, and promote good oral hygiene.
Protect Your Braces
To protect braces from damage, wearers must take extra care throughout their daily activities. When playing sports, a mouth guard is necessary to protect the braces from damage. Avoid using your teeth to open packaging, or bite fingernails. Certain foods can get stuck in braces, or potentially affect the appliance.
You should avoid these foods:
• Hard or chewy candies
• Corn on the cob
• Apples and fibrous foods
Easy options for individuals with braces include:
• Ice Cream
• Pasta & Noodles
• Smoothies (without fruit seeds)
Contact Louis F. Mascola for Braces Care
Our practice helps patients of all ages achieve straighter smiles. For more information on braces and how to care for them, or for an orthodontic exam, call our practice.