Brace-wearing 101: How to take care of your braces

12 June, 2015

Braces are for straighter sets of pearly whites. They also correct overcrowded teeth and overbites and underbites.

Braces, springs, wires, rubber bands and other appliances are prone to plaque and food. If left unattended, teeth stains occur. Most dentists recommend brushing regularly after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and removing food bits stuck in your braces.

Picking food or plaque from the mix of wires and bands proves to be a challenge. Some dentists recommend using mouthwash, which reaches places in the mouth a toothbrush cannot. Using floss and waterpiks also rid your teeth from stubborn bits.

Brushing your teeth

Brushing your teeth is an essential aspect of dental hygiene, especially if you are wearing braces. Food stuck between the wires and brackets causes stains and spots on your tooth’s surface.

When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions. Try to reach food particles wedged between your gum lines. Brush slowly and carefully. It takes about 3 minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Make sure to scrub each surface thoroughly to prevent plaque build-up and cavities. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

Flossing with braces

For hard-to-reach areas in your mouth, use dental floss. Flossing requires time and patience, especially if you are wearing braces. It’s important to floss after your brush to prevent plaque build-up and cavities.

To floss through your braces, insert the floss’s short end through the space between the upper portion of the tooth and the main arch wire. Don’t pull too much to prevent bleeding or loose brackets. Use a gentle sawing motion to work the floss between your teeth.

Foods to avoid when wearing braces

Prevention is better than repairing broken braces or cleaning stubborn plaque off your teeth’s surface. Cut your food into smaller pieces. This also prevents food from getting stuck between brackets.

Certain foods must be avoided to prevent broken brackets and loose brace wires. Avoid eating too hard or sticky foods to avoid inflicting damage on your braces. Difficult as it sounds, steer clear from the following foods:

  • Toffee
  • Gum
  • Liquorice
  • Caramel
  • Hard popcorn and pretzels
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard nuts and taco shells

Take care of your braces by taking good care of your teeth. For quality braces and other dental services, contact us now.