Having poor oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment can have a lasting effect on teeth and gums. Taking good care of your teeth with braces might take a little extra time, but it’s worth it
It can be difficult to floss your teeth with brackets and wires in place. It may also be challenging to reach your entire tooth using the same old brush. Food particles can and do stick to braces, putting you at an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth stains.
Orthodontic treatment is an important investment for your future. Smileworx Orthodontics have put together some advice to care for your braces and optimise your oral health when undergoing treatment.
Brushing and flossing is important
You will need to step up your dental hygiene routine and be gentle when you brush or floss in order to avoid damaging the wires and brackets. Brushing after every meal is important when you’re wearing braces as foods are more likely to get stuck in your braces, encouraging the build-up of plaque.
Flossing after meals is extra important to help you get rid of food particles between your teeth or in the wiring of your braces and on the brackets. There are many flossing tools including interdental brushes to use, but remember too much force when flossing can damage your braces.
If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste or flossing tool your Smileworx Orthodontist will give you some tips and a take home pack to get you started.
Be careful with what you eat
It is important to watch what you eat when you have braces. You will be better off avoiding starchy and sugary foods to lower the risk of plaque build-up. Plaque around the brackets can lead to staining of the teeth, which eventually leads to gum disease.
Likewise, you might want to avoid chewy and sticky foods, such as caramel, dried fruits, chewing gum, or corn that’s still on the cob. If these foods get stuck, you will have a hard time removing them from your braces.
Hard foods should also be avoided like ice, nuts and popcorn as they can break the wires and loosen the brackets. Even though orthodontic technology has advanced a long way, your brackets and wires are still relatively fragile and if you really want to eat crunchy food, it is better to cut it into small pieces first.
Protecting your braces
Removable braces are relatively easy to take care of and can be taken out, making brushing and flossing easier. It’s also easier to clean the braces themselves and removable braces should be cleaned with cold water and liquid soap on a toothbrush, twice daily and toothpaste should not be used to clean retainers as it will make your clear retainer opaque.
The good news is that even while wearing braces, your child can still play their favourite sport, although it does require some extra consideration. The best way to protect teeth with braces attached is an orthodontic mouth guard. Orthodontic mouth guards are different from normal mouth guards and are made of high grade silicone with large rubber flanges that go under the lips to keep them from being pushed into the brackets.
Braces from Smileworx Orthodontics
Having braces on your teeth means you need to pay a bit more attention to your mouth, but the results are worth it. Do your best to prepare for them coming off, revealing that new and improved smile.
For more information on how to care for your braces or to book in a consultation, contact Smileworx Orthodontics today.