Braces require a little more attention due to the fact that it is very easy for food to get stuck in the brackets and wires. Following these quick tips can ensure that your braces are clean:
- Brush your teeth three times a day to keep them clear of debris
- Continue visiting your regular dentist for cleanings and check-ups
- Once you receive a retainer, clean and brush it to ensure it stays free of bacteria
- Avoid food with high amounts of sugar, as well as sticky and chewy foods
- Use floss or dental picks to clean between wires and teeth
Adjust Your Diet
When you have braces, there are two sorts of foods you should avoid eating: crunchy foods and sticky foods.
The problem with crunchy foods like apples and pretzels is they can loosen your brackets or even make them pop off. For the same reason, you also need to be careful working your jaws too strenuously with dense, chewy foods such as hard rolls and bagels. If you do find yourself unable to resist eating something crunchy or chewy, cut the food into small bites first. You may also find ways to soften things up. Boil or steam carrots. Cut corn kernels off the cob.
And the issue with sticky foods like caramel or gummy bears, is they can get stuck in your braces. The residue is difficult to remove with normal oral care, and you won’t want the stickiness wedged in your braces indefinitely. This can cause big problems with tooth decay later on!
Allow for More Time to Clean Teeth
Taking care of your teeth with braces is undeniably a little more involved than when you don’t have braces. Your oral health care routines will become a little longer and require a few more steps.
Protect Your Mouth When Playing Sports
If you’re the athletic type, you need to be careful to avoid receiving an impact to the mouth. This is always true, but it’s especially true for people with braces. A hard hit in a football or basketball game can damage your appliances, harm your teeth, and cut up the insides of your mouth. Even something seemingly safe like a tennis ball will do harm to your braces and your mouth if it comes at you with decent force.
That’s why we recommend that you wear a mouth guard during any sort of activity where there’s a risk of a receiving a hard impact. Feel free to ask us for specific recommendations.
Embrace Your Braces
Sometimes patients with braces get self-conscious about their orthodontics. Try not to be. You don’t need to smile with closed lips. You don’t need to cover your mouth when you laugh. Your braces are part of who are during this particular time in your life. You’re on your way to a beautiful and healthy smile, and that’s something to be proud of.