Braces are designed to fix or correct dental problems such as misaligned teeth, crooked teeth, or crowding. At the end of your treatment, you will be left with well-aligned teeth, good oral and dental health, a great smile, and high self-esteem. In this article, we are going to look at the 9 best ways you can care for your braces.
Kids, teenagers, and adults can get braces to promote their dental health but it doesn’t just end there. You don’t just get braces and sit still, there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure that your treatment goes smoothly and successfully. Meeting up with your orthodontist appointment is one the process but there is also something else that is just as important – caring for your braces.
Now, it is one thing for you to get braces to fix a dental issue and it is another to care for them. Getting braces to straighten your teeth is just as important as caring for them. It is so necessary that your overall dental and oral health can get worse when you neglect taking care of your braces which can make you spend more money.
Before getting braces either for yourself or for your child, you must know the particular dental problem, the different types of braces and their costs, and how to care for the braces. This article provides comprehensive detail on how to care for your braces or that of your child and without any further ado, let’s get into it.
Braces Care Routine
Getting braces will make it harder to take care of your teeth and this is something you should be prepared for before getting braces either for yourself or for your child. Braces have tiny spaces that can trap food which can cause plaque, cavities, teeth stains, and gum problems all of which are serious dental issues. To avoid these issues then you or your child need to follow the braces care routine tips below.
Brushing is an important part of oral and dental hygiene and with braces on, you have to do it regularly. Start by choosing a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste. Before brushing, take off rubber bands or any other accessories that can be removed from the braces and brush for two minutes, twice or thrice per day.
It is better and safer that you brush after every meal (snacks included) to get off any trapped food in or around your braces. You have to be careful when brushing so that you don’t damage the wires and brackets on your braces, which is why it is ideal to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.
With your toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, get to work on your teeth and bristles. Begin at the top using a circular motion and carefully move the toothbrush across each tooth, spending about 10 seconds on each tooth. Brush down and above the wires to get every stuck food out. Don’t forget your gum line, insides of your teeth and back of your mouth, and behind the molars. Brush your tongue too.
Floss and Mouthwash
Flossing is a daunting task with braces on but you have to do it to maintain quality dental hygiene. Brushing won’t completely take out the food debris stuck in between your teeth, wires, and braces. A toothbrush can’t reach the crevices and cracks between each tooth and that is where a floss becomes necessary as it can easily go through these cracks and crevices and get out tiny food debris which can cause serious tooth damage if they aren’t gotten out.
Flossing should be done once per day, preferably before bedtime and you may want to get a floss threader. Floss threaders are specifically designed for people with braces to make flossing easier. You can have your orthodontist or dentist show you how to use the floss or simply follow the guide on the product pack.
You’ve brushed, flossed, now you need to rinse with mouthwash. Using a fluoride mouthwash to rinse your mouth promotes oral and dental hygiene. Due to its liquid form, it easily gets into the cracks and crevices in your teeth and into the wires and brackets of your braces preventing tooth decay and strengthening the enamel.
Check The Mirror For Damages
Now that you have thoroughly cleaned your teeth and mouth take a look at your teeth in the mirror to confirm whether there are any damages to your braces or not. If any damage is seen immediately consult your orthodontist. Aside from checking the mirror for damages also check to see if there is an unattended part or any stubborn food debris that won’t come off. Whatever you find out attend to it with great urgency.
Food To Avoid When You Have Braces
Wearing braces restrict you from eating a certain food to help make your treatment effective, these foods are:
- Pizza crusts
- Apples, oranges, lemons, and carrots
- Cotton candy
- Gummy bears
- Lemon juice
- Highly processed foods
- Fruit smoothies
- Hard crusty bread
Use An Air or Water Flosser
You can use either the air or water type of flosser to clean your teeth especially with your braces on. They are both effective for people who use braces as they promote healthy gums and overall dental hygiene.
A water flosser works by using a stream of water to loosen plaque and food particles while an air flosser uses a stream of air. Mouthwash is added when using either of the flossers to enhance the cleaning process and provide a fresh, clean sensation. Both the water and air flosser are effective for teeth with braces.
Don’t Use Your Teeth As Tools
With braces on, it is not advisable to use your tooth as a tool. Do not chew hard items like ice, pens, apples, carrots, your nails, etc. as they can cause damage to your braces. Parents whose child wears braces should strongly advise their kids on this.
Use Dental Wax
Use dental wax on your braces to relieve pain caused by rubbing the braces appliances. The application of dental wax creates a barrier between the braces wires and your mouth which prevents further injury. The wax is not poisonous in any way and safe when consumed in case you swallow it by accident, you’ll be fine.
Protect Braces While Playing Sports
While playing sports your braces can get damaged, to avoid this you need to wear a mouth guard to protect your braces, gums, and teeth. Consult your orthodontist or dentist to get a mouth guard that is suitable for your teeth.
Always Listen to Your Orthodontist
If you encounter any problems with your braces immediately consult your orthodontist, they are the most important people in your dental health journey. It is also important that you listen to every piece of advice, tips, or procedure they tell or teach you and follow them up. Visit your orthodontist regularly and keep up with every appointment.
FAQs on Caring for your Braces
What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?
While both professions exist to promote oral health they do in different ways. Dentists are medical specialist that deals with teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw while an orthodontist – also a medical specialist within dentistry – deals with correcting bites, installing braces, and diagnosing a misaligned jaw, occlusion, and straightening teeth.
An orthodontist is a qualified dentist that has received additional training which qualifies them to do the things listed above.
Orthodontic emergencies include major injury to the teeth, face, or mouth, swelling or bleeding of the gums, loose brackets and/or problems with wires, missing rubber bands, rubbing irritations, and oral cavity accidents.
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