5 Ways To Take Care Of Your Braces
Each of you may already have your own dental hygiene routine that you follow every day. But once you have braces, you may need to make some changes and adjustments to your oral routine to keep both your teeth and your braces clean.
Some people claim that taking care of your teeth is more complex when you have braces. That’s because food debris and other edible particles can easily trap themselves into the tiny spaces of your braces. Moreover, the old brushing schedule you follow before, like brushing twice a day, may become more excessive and more frequent once you have braces.
To simply put, having braces would require a little more time and effort in taking care of them. But despite that fact, it’s important to remember that having braces can do more than double your hygiene effort. Braces help straighten your misaligned teeth and arrange them back in the right places to achieve a healthy and gorgeous smile.
So, what can you do to ensure that your oral health and your braces are always in check? Here are five ways to take care of your braces and maintain optimal oral health.
- Take Time To Brush Your Teeth And Braces Properly
Your braces will require a more careful and thorough brushing technique since plaque and food debris are easily trapped around them. To guide you in properly brushing your teeth and braces, here are the procedures you can follow.
- Start by rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash or even plain water to rinse off the food particles from your teeth and braces.
- Then, take off any of your removable orthodontic pieces like bands or elastics, and make sure to put them in a safe and clean container.
- As you start brushing, gently brush along your gum line, under the brackets and wires, and the inner surfaces of your teeth.
- The minimum time for teeth brushing is two minutes, but it may take longer if you have braces which is normal.
- After brushing, use a proxabrush to clean the narrow parts and corners around your braces. Then, reattached the orthodontic pieces which you removed earlier.
Be sure to brush and clean every tooth, bracket, and wire and leave nothing unturned. Ideally, it’s best to brush your teeth and braces after every meal and snack to ensure no food will be trapped around your braces and cause a foul oral smell and plaque build-up.
- Never Use Your Teeth And Braces As Tools
Regardless of whether you have braces or not, it’s never okay to use your teeth as a tool, much more with braces. Utilizing your teeth as a tool for opening hard objects may cause your teeth to crack and misalign. What’s worst, using your braces for opening things will also damage not one but multiple brackets, which is extremely painful and can negatively impact your orthodontic treatment timeline.
If your goal is to wrap up your treatment faster and attain that perfect smile, then you need to be gentle and careful with your delicate braces. This includes refraining yourself from biting hard objects such as the tip of your pen, your fingernails, or even playfully biting the skin of your family or friends.
- Be Mindful Of Your Food Intake
Aside from being gentle with your braces is being watchful of the food you eat. Some foods are actually damaging for your braces, especially the hard ones. Orthodontists would even remind their younger patients to refrain from eating popcorns since hard kernels are hard enough to damage your brackets.
For people with braces, softer foods should always be their best choice, such as milkshakes, smoothies, and other dairy products. Softer foods are easier to consume and won’t do any damage or misalignment with your braces.
Here are a few lists of foods you can eat during your orthodontic treatment:
- Softer bread
- Rice and pasta
- Soft-cooked meats like ground beef and poultry. Avoid eating grilled steak as they’re often hard.
- Soups and cereals
- You can indulge in pizzas, hotdogs, or hamburgers, as long as you cut them first into bite-sized pieces
- Cooked and cut vegetables
- Chopped or sliced fruits
To simply put, you can still eat the foods you normally eat as long as they’re not too hard, crunchy, or in too large of pieces.
- Wear A Mouth Guard During Playtime Or Sports
Just because you have braces doesn’t mean you can’t play intense sports or activities anymore. After all, keeping up with your usual sports routine or exercise is part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, now that you have braces, you need to take extra precautions with your teeth and your braces and ensure they won’t get damaged or destroyed while you’re playing.
To help you protect your braces from possible damage during playtime, you can wear a mouth guard. This is especially important if you’re into sports that involve you taking a hard hit like hockey, basketball, football, and so on. Consult your orthodontist when buying a mouth guard and ensure to purchase one specifically created to protect braces.
- Visit Your Orthodontist Regularly
Your orthodontist will be your partner in taking good care of your braces and ensure your orthodontic treatment will go smoothly according to the target timeline. Usually, you’ll be required to visit the clinic every month for the readjustment of your braces and monthly cleaning of your teeth. If you’re experiencing pain during your treatment or one or two of your brackets are missing, visit your orthodontist as soon as possible.
Proper care for your teeth and braces is essential to avoid any complications during your orthodontic treatment and, ultimately, achieve great-looking teeth once your braces are removed. No matter how much time, money, pain, and sacrifices you’ve invested and endured for your braces, following proper oral care tips for your teeth and braces are the key to attaining a beautiful and healthy smile.