By correcting dental misalignments and having braces you are already on the road to a straighter smile. Going to your orthodontist appointments every few weeks isn’t always enough to keep your braces in optimal condition. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene is a huge factor in taking care of your braces to ensure that there aren’t additional problems to tackle when you have them taken off at the end of your treatment.
- Use the Toothpaste, Floss and Mouth Wash Recommended by Your Orthodontist
Be sure to ask your orthodontist what toothpaste, floss, and mouth wash will be best for you during your orthodontic treatment. It’s important to use toothpaste that will eliminate bacteria. Bacteria that are not properly cleaned can lead to cavities, halitosis, or gum disease. While some brands of oral health products can contain harsh ingredients that can actually damage metal braces so it’s important to go over this information with your orthodontist. Using a mouth wash after you have brushed and flossed your teeth is always recommended, but it’s important to eliminate mouthwashes that have red or green colors as the dyes in those products can discolor the metal materials and elastics on your braces.
- Brush and Floss After Eating
Brushing and flossing your teeth after eating with braces can be complicated and at times, frustrating to say the least. When brushing and flossing to rid extra food debris from your mouth you have to show extra precaution as to avoid breaking any wires or dislodging any metal brackets. Having a toothbrush with soft bristles will not harm your braces but will be very effective in removing leftover food particles hiding between your teeth. Because your teeth are covered by wires and brackets at all times during your orthodontic treatment it’s crucial to brush and floss after eating so no food particles are stuck or left behind lingering around all day. By taking the extra time to floss and brush every time after eating throughout the days you are benefiting yourself by keeping your braces clean and your teeth free from potential cavities.
- Invest in an Oral Irrigator
Investing in an oral irrigator is well worth the expense and a great alternative and addition to flossing as it will eliminate food particles left behind or that is stuck between your teeth. An oral irrigator is a wand-like device that emits water from its attached tank. The pressure from oral irrigators will dislodge any leftover food, bacteria or plaque that is between your teeth or on your gums. While flossing with braces can be extremely time-consuming and rather frustrating, oral irrigators are an easy way to supplement flossing into your daily routine without completely avoiding or eliminating flossing altogether.
- Don’t Eat Harmful Foods
Believe it or not, specific foods and your diet can be very impactful on your braces. While there are countless foods out there that are okay to eat and drink with braces there is also a rather large handful to avoid as well. A general rule of thumb for foods to avoid with braces includes but is not limited to anything sticky, hard, tough, or crunchy. It’s important to avoid any type of food that could be considered harmful to your braces, gums, or tongue. Ask your orthodontic for a list of foods to avoid if you have any questions about any specific meal or foods you can eat.
- Don’t Miss Any Appointments
Missing any scheduled appointments are futile to the longevity of your orthodontic treatment. Skipping appointment dates or rescheduling for a much later date can be harmful to your braces as the wires need to be tightened regularly. By missing those scheduled appointments your teeth will have more room to shift and move and it is almost guaranteed that your teeth will not be aligned with your treatment plan. This means you will most likely have to wear your braces for longer than first anticipated.
Whether you are wearing braces for 10 months or 2 years the results will be more successful and your teeth and braces will maintain their optimal condition by following the recommended tips above. It’s important to keep visiting your Orthodontist for your scheduled appointments and ask your doctor if you have any questions along the way. Our doctors pride themselves on giving their patients healthier and more beautiful smiles every day. If you have any questions about how you can keep your braces in optimal condition during the course of the treatment, give us a call and one of our braces specialist will be able to go over any questions or concerns that you may have.