Congratulations on taking your first step toward a straighter, more beautiful smile! Once your new braces are in place, you’ll slowly begin to see big changes in your teeth. One change you do not want to see, however, is the effects of decay or permanent tooth damage. With wires and brackets covering your teeth, it can be easier for plaque to build up during the course of your orthodontic treatment. To ensure this doesn’t occur, follow these five easy steps to keep your healthy smile.
Brush carefully and frequently.
While brushing twice daily is standard practice, you’ll need to brush more frequently when wearing braces. We recommend that you brush after every time you eat. This includes brushing even after a quick snack. Food particles can easily get stuck in your braces and, if left over time, can feed the bacteria that cause plaque. Ultimately, if you leave food particles trapped in your teeth for too long, they can create decay and other oral health issues.
To brush with extra care, follow these simple steps: you’ll first need to swish water around your braces to loosen the food particles. Then, brush each individual tooth along the gum line, as well as above and below the brackets. Finally, clean the top and bottom of each bracket and rinse.
Get into a regular flossing routine.
With so many nooks and crannies in your braces, it can be difficult to get every food particle with just brushing. This is why it’s critical to get into a regular flossing routine when you have braces. The process for flossing with braces is simple. Use wax floss if possible, and thread it between the bracket and the teeth. Then slide the floss between your teeth and the gum line to rid them of food particles. Carefully remove the floss and repeat for each tooth until finished.
Eat foods that are good for your oral health.
It is especially important to watch the food that you’re eating when you’re wearing braces. We recommend avoiding the foods that are particularly prone to causing cavities. This includes highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits (apples, oranges, plums, pineapples, etc.), tomatoes, pickles, sodas and sports drinks, BBQ sauce, and vinaigrettes. We also recommend avoiding particularly starchy foods such as potato chips that have a tendency to stick to the teeth. We recommend instead that you eat teeth-friendly foods that are low in acid, such as bananas, milk, poultry, soups, seafood, eggs, pasta, and more.
Avoid foods that can damage your braces.
Damaging your braces can lead to even longer treatment periods and harm your teeth! To prevent this, we recommend avoiding particularly sticky or crunchy foods like caramels or toffees. You should also consider chopping up foods like apples or carrots to avoid breakage. Finally, be sure to avoid chewing gum while you have braces.
Be aware of habits that can harm your teeth.
Finally, there are certain habits that could damage your braces that you may not be aware of. For example, you’ll want to avoid chewing pens or pencils. Avoid nail biting, chewing ice, or thrusting your tongue as well. Should you damage your braces, be certain to call your Plainfield dentist right away, and we’ll fix the problem so you can continue your treatment.
Want to learn more about how you can take care of your braces? Call the Valley Dental of Plainfield office and we’ll help you keep your mouth in good health!