|One of the main reasons for having your braces is to promote dental health. It just makes sense that while your teeth are being realigned, to be extra vigilant in taking care of your teeth and protecting your braces. The multiple parts of your braces, the brackets, elastics, and wires, can trap food. Your teeth are at more risk for tooth decay. We at New England Orthodontic Specialists, care for your overall health, so we have prepared some braces-care tips for you.
Put Your Best Oral Hygiene Forward
Basic oral hygiene involves brushing your teeth twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste and flossing. With or without braces, these are expected of you. However, braces would require new teeth cleaning skills considering all the braces components on your teeth.
Before brushing your teeth, it is most important to remove the elastics. You would not be able to brush your teeth properly with the elastics on. Then, brush your teeth as you usually would using a circular motion, maintaining the 45 degrees of the toothbrush from the gum line. Brush both inside and outside teeth surfaces. When brushing the braces, make sure you are doing so firmly to reach all the food particles around the brackets or wires. Make sure all the debris is removed.
Flossing once a day is necessary. However, it can be tricky. A floss threader might be necessary. On your next visit to our clinic, we would gladly demonstrate how to floss most effectively.
You might be surprised, but your diet plays a special role when protecting your braces. Though there are no foods strictly contraindicated to clients with braces, there are foods that are best to avoid for your convenience.
Avoid sticky and chewy food like gum, taffy, caramel and the like for the apparent reason they tend to stick to and pull off your braces though neither sticky nor chewy, popcorns are also not recommended as the hulls can get stuck, between your teeth or below the gums which can cause the gums to swell.
Avoid hard food. Hard candy can deform your archwires and detach your brackets. Also, if your gums are swollen, hard food like raw carrots or apples can be very painful to eat.
If you have a sweet tooth, you might be happy to learn that soft chocolates or other sweet treats that could melt or easily washed or brushed are allowed.
Other decaying food such as acidic beverages can cause permanent enamel decay. Sadly, this cannot be undone. White spots from the decay are even more obvious once the braces are removed because of the significant discoloration.
Sports and Braces
It isn’t necessary to give up on sports while wearing braces. Regardless of what sport you are playing, it is safe to inform us about your activities. We take extra precaution because even non-contact sports can cause trauma.
Caring for your braces will require extra work. However, it will be all worth your orthodontic investment. Visit us at New England Orthodontic Specialists or call (978) 922-3462 for more information about protecting your braces!