Even though braces are meant to improve how we look, they can be a recipe for disaster if we do not practice good dental care. When you have braces, your teeth require extra care as compared to when you did not have braces. According to Dr Nancy Halsema, you should take measures to evade damage on the teeth and braces. Some of these precautions include not eating crunchy food, chewing sticky sweets, pushing your tongue against your mouth, and biting the lip.
Tips on caring for braces on your teeth
The conventional brushing rule does not apply
Usually, it is recommended that one brushes twice a day. However, when wearing braces, you need to brush after eating anything. Whether it is after breakfast or after your afternoon snack, use your brush and toothpaste immediately. Food particles tend to get trapped in your braces, and the longer they stay in the braces, the higher the risk of developing dental issues.
How to brush
The best brush to use is one with round bristles. Begin by rinsing the mouth using water so as to loosen the food particles stuck in the braces. When cleaning, make sure you concentrate on the gum line and below and above the brackets. Start with the gum line by brushing at an angle of 45 degrees. Then, clean the brackets by holding the brush downwards when cleaning the top, and upwards when cleaning the bottom. Finish by rinsing again.
Other cleaning techniques
Flossing daily is healthy. Ensure you floss between the braces and also below the wires. An orthodontic or floss threader is the best for flossing under the wires. You can purchase it from a drug store. Waxed floss is better than unwaxed floss as you can easily slide it between your teeth.
An interproximal or interdental is the most appropriate for those with spaces between the teeth. It goes between the teeth swiftly and works better than flossing. An irrigator is another option for the hard to reach parts. The irrigator is a stream of vivacious water that removes plaque and food debris.
Use a fluoride rinse
The last thing you would want to see after the braces are removed is a stain spot on the teeth. To avoid such stains, rinse your mouth using a specially made fluoride mouth spray daily. You can ask your orthodontist to recommend a good fluoride mouthwash brand.
Mind your diet
When wearing braces, you should be more cautious of what you eat. Starchy and sugary foods are not recommended as they cause the buildup of plague around the brackets. This could lead to gum disease or cavities. Chewy and sticky foods such as corn, chewing gum, dried fruits, and caramel should be avoided as they stick on the braces thus cannot be removed easily.
Hard foods should also be evaded as they might loosen the brackets or break the braces of the wires. Foods that are considered healthy but are hard such as carrots and apples should be sliced into small pieces to reduce the effect they could have on your teeth.
It is advisable to avoid taking acidic foods and drinks. It applies to those who have metallic braces as metal may react with the acid in the food and thus might collude with the teeth’s surface. The result is a permanent stain.
Uncooked foods are not recommended since they are a breeding place for bacteria. Bacteria may hide in hard to reach parts of the teeth thus causing tooth decay.
In case the bracket is irritating the inside of your mouth or if wire breaks, do not be scared. Instead, contact your orthodontist to fix it for you. Never attempt to fix braces. Braces are a great way of enhancing your health and smile. Always take good care of them.